LONDON - Behdad Salimi won Olympic super-heavyweight gold at the ExCel Arena here on Tuesday and was then given a glowing tribute by the man he beat into second.
Salimi lifted a total of 455kg to beat compatriot Sajjad Anoushiravani into second place.
The 22-year-old thus added Games gold to his two world titles and Asian Games crown.
And afterwards, Anoushiravani, 28, said his team-mate could now be compared to the likes of fellow Iranian heavyweight greats such as twice Olympic champion and four-time world champion Hossein Rezazadeh, now the Iranian Federation president.
"Overall his standing is high and this is all down to the training he gets through to achieve his goals," said the new Olympic silver medallist.
"I would say that if he isn't the greatest then he is at least one of the best."
Salimi himself said he was happy to be following in the footsteps of Rezazadeh and former under-105kg Olympic champion Hossein Tavakkoli.
"Having had those great champions has been a great inspiration to us to get into weightlifting," he said.
"It's motivating and we're proud to continue their legacy and to now take their place."
Anoushiravani said the two don't just compete against each other but train together and help each other to progress.
"We're like brothers, we've been competing and training togehther for two and a half years," he said.
"I'm happy to do the best I could and to help Behdad to get the gold."
Salimi said he expected things to change in his life now that he is Olympic champion, but he said the negatives could outweigh the benefits.
"Of course money-wise being champion has a great effect, it's going to change my life," he said.
"However, it's not like other sports like football, there's not that much money in weightlifting, although I hope that improves.
"However, increased money and popularity will bring increased pressure." - AFP