Strongman of Latvian politics

  • 2007-09-27
  • From wire reports
CHIANG MAI - Latvian athlete Viktors Scerbatihs won the world weightlifting title in the super-heavyweight category in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Sep 26.

That's an impressive achievement in its own right, but even more so when you learn that Scerbatihs' also holds down a day job as a member of parliament.

The 33-year old member of the Greens' and Farmers Union became world champion with a combined 442 kilos, lifting 202 kilos in the snatch and 240 kilos in the clean and jerk. His closest rival, Russian Yevgeny Chigishev, trailed Scerbatihs by one kilo when he retired from the competition.

Ukrainian weightlifter Artyom Udachin took bronze with a combined 436 kilos.

Scerbatihs won the individual snatch, and claimed bronze in the clean and jerk. Chigishev and Qatari former world champion Jaber Saeed Salem also lifted 240 kilos in the jerk but Chigishev, the lightest of the three, took the gold medal.

In April, Scerbatihs won the European championships with a combined 445 kilos. Scerbatihs' 2007 world title is the greatest achievement in the Latvian history of weightlifting since the restoration of independence.

Scerbatihs' previous achievements include second place (445 kg) in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, as and third place (445 kg) in the 2003 world weightlifting championships. His personal best is the Latvian record weight of 465 kilos (205+260).