July 20, 2023 – Sad news came from Lviv, Ukraine. Legendary flyweight Adam Gnatov passed away in his hometown at 78.
Adam Gnatov competed in the 52,0 kg weight class. He was a vice champion of the 1972 European Championships in Romania. Gnatov won the gold at the USSR Championship (1971) and the USSR Spartakiade (1971). He was on of the national top flyweight contenders for almost 2 decades and earned medals at 8 USSR Championships. Adam Gnatov was a 3x USSR Cup Winner (1970, 1971, 1972) and won USSR gold medals in press (1970, 1971) and in clean and jerk (1971, 1972, 1974, 1975).
Adam authored 14 World and USSR records in the flyweight category. Out of these 14 world records, one will never be broken. It’s the 120,5 kg press record set in 1972 right before the press lift was eliminated from the official program by the IWF. Gnatov literally owned the record book for the press lift in the 52,0 kg weight class. He set the first world record in the book in 1969 (102,5 kg). And he closed the book in 1972 when he pressed 120,5 kg.
He stood strong and tall at his height of 132 cm and I used to call Adam Gnatov a “Little Giant”.