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3 Aug, 2009 07:09

Octogenarian man of muscle

For most 80-year-olds, their athletic days are over. But one grandfather in the Russian republic of Dagestan is making a name for himself as a record-breaking strong-man.

After moving a railway carriage amid approbatory cheering of the crowd, octogenarian Abdurakhman Abdulazizov says joyfully, “I feel great! Nothing hurts.”

He is an old hand at such things, and has even made it to the Russian Guinness Book of World Records. But this is not the only trick up the 80-year-old’s sleeve – or rather in his mouth.

He can lift more than a hundred kilos – using nothing but dental power.

“If you do it with hands, it's one thing. And quite the other if you do it with teeth,” Abdurakhman explains. “It's a bit scary, because your teeth and jaw can come out. One time, I wasn't careful and lifted 105 kilos, then lost it and my jaw came out. I put it back in – seems like my teeth are doing fine.”

Despite the strain they have to put up with, all his teeth are in place. He is a local celebrity and the pride of his village. He is considered a good role model for youngsters, as physical strength is considered obligatory in this southern Russian republic.

“In Dagestan, special attention has always been paid to the physical development of a man. They say that boys in Dagestan start fighting when they are five days old. Abdurakhman discovered his abilities only after he turned 60,” Magomed Gadzhiev, mayor of Dagestan’s Kizilyurt region, says.

Most of all, Abdurakhman likes to spend his time with his grandchildren, teaching them the basics: “How to behave at home and in public. You can't behave any way you want – you need to be decent, like other people.”

He was a late starter, taking up his sporting career aged 77, and Abdurakhman is sure that the world should know about his abilities.

“There are other guys of my age who don't do it. I stand out, and I am pretty happy about it,” he laughs.

This man claims he has no equal across the globe. He has challenged the world many times, and received no response so far. So the strong man hopes some media attention will help him to find a proper rival.