Karlos Nasar, centre, made history at the IWF World Championships ©Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation

Karlos Nasar underlined his claim to be the best teenage weightlifter in decades when he claimed a senior world record held by one of the sport’s biggest names, Lu Xiaojun, in a remarkable session in Tashkent in Uzbekistan today.

Nasar, from Bulgaria, is so young, at 17 years 214 days that he broke youth, junior and senior world records at the same time when he made his final clean and jerk of 208 kilograms.

On a good day for young lifters, it won him the 81kg title at the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships ahead of two 21-year-olds, the Iranian Mir Mostafa Javadi and Marin Robu of Moldova, who were respectively 7kg and 11kg behind Nasar.

Statisticians were trawling back through records to find out how many weightlifters have ever won a world title at a younger age than Nasar – and the only name anybody has offered so far is another Bulgarian, Sevdalin Marinov, who was 17 years 73 days when he won in 1985.

The sport’s biggest names from the late 20th century, Turkey's Naim Suleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu, Georgia's Kakhi Kakhiashvili and Greece's Pyrros Dimas, were all older when they won their first world title, by between one and five years.

Nasar’s 166-208 gave him a total of 374kg, equalling the total Lu made in winning Olympic gold for the second time in Tokyo four and a half months ago.

When Olympic qualifying started, Nasar was not entered – hardly surprising given he was a 14-year-old who had never competed in international weightlifting.

Nasar bettered Lu’s clean and jerk world record by 1kg and was only 4kg below the Chinese lifter’s world record total of 378kg, which he set in 2019 when he was more than double Nasar’s age.

His performance earned Nasar a sweep of youth world records and was also a junior record on total, beating the 372kg set by another Chinese athlete, Li Dayin, three years ago when he was more than three years older than Nasar.

"A new day has started for Bulgarian weightlifting," said Arif Majed, Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation (BWF) President.

"Karlos is our first world champion since 2007 and our first world record holder for many, many years – and this is just the start.

"You will see many more records from Karlos Nasar. 

"He is a national hero and we are so proud of him, and you will see so much more to enjoy from Bulgarian weightlifting in the years to come."

Given Bulgaria’s desperate doping record in decades past – four times banned or sent home from the Olympic Games since 1988 – it was not surprising that questions were being asked by doubters on social media.

Majed, speaking to insidethegames while Nasar was with doping control, said the teenager had been tested at least 10 times since he won the senior European title in Moscow in April – "and we’re not talking national agency, we’re talking WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) tests".

He said: "Listen, I understand it’s very hard to believe that such results are possible at such a young age, but we also have to consider genetics, consider his talent.

"People might think something shady is going on but everything is up to par, everything is as it should be.

"It is impossible to do anything (questionable) when you are tested this often.

"Karlos is so talented, such a hard worker, he is so mature for his age, much older than his years.

"He knows his goals and this is just the start."

Nasar was due to join a celebration tonight and will be back at training camp from January 3.

Majed, a successful businessman who was elected in May, is on a mission to clean up Bulgarian weightlifting after it was "lost in space for 10 years" but is having "headaches from the former President, who is trying to block the commercial registration process for me and the Executive Board."

Because of this lack of registration, he said he had no access to the BWF’s funds, which he said had been depleted.

So Majed, who is otherwise "fully operational as President" paid personally for the team to travel to Tashkent.

"If I had not done that, the world would not have seen Karlos Nasar in action today," he proclaimed.

Nasar made five of his six lifts, missing only his final snatch attempt at 169kg.

Javadi made all six for 163-204-367, celebrating with his coach after his final clean and jerk of 204kg had left him in the lead – for a couple of minutes.

Robu, competing at this weight for the first time after moving up from 73kg, also made five good lifts for 168-195-363.

Mohamed Ehab, returning to action at the age of 32 after Egypt’s National Federation was suspended for two years, made only his first snatch at 160kg and, holding his left shoulder, withdrew before the clean and jerk.

Egypt won the other medal event of the day, the women’s 64kg, when once more a teenager proved too strong for older rivals.

The 2019 youth world champion Neama Said, 19, made five good lifts for 106-127-233 to finish ahead of two 24-year-olds.

Taiwan’s Olympic bronze medallist Chen Wen-huei, who missed two snatch attempts, made 97-135-232 and Minkyung Park of South Korea was well back in third on 96-121-217.