I used to practice athletics. One day, the bus that took us to the practice got damaged and the coaches decided to give us “something” to do instead of the regular practice that day. My coach asked me to sit on the bench and practice some lifting. When he saw that I could lift the bar with no problem, he started adding and adding plates. That day he told me: you are really a natural weightlifter and started inviting me to lifting competitions.
In my first international competition in 1993 I broke my first World record. I remember the feeling of being at the podium, seeing the flag of my country being lifted up, hearing my national anthem. A feeling that I’ll never forget. At that moment I thought: This is my place and I am going to do my best to get better every day to put the name of my country as high as I can.