"I am now 30. It is enough. I am announcing that I am putting an end to my active sports life," Suleymanoglu said. He became a national hero after winning his first Olympic gold in 1988 in Seoul. He has also won seven World Championships - two before he defected from his native Bulgaria in 1986.
In the last Olympic Games, the 4ft 11in Suleymanoglu broke his own world record with a combined lift of 7381/2 pounds (52st 101/2 lb) in snatch and clean-and-jerk.
"Weightlifting has given me a lot, and it has given me a lot of joy," Suleymanoglu said. "My next target would have been the Sydney Games. But I cannot remain in active weightlifting for four more years."
Suleymanoglu said he wanted to continue working in weightlifting as technical director or manager. "But for now I only have one goal: to rest for a long while and catch up on all that I have missed out on in my youth."
Suleymanoglu, born into an ethnic Turkish family, was widely honoured and admired for helping to put Turkish sport back on the map.Reuse content