Stefan Topurov was the first man to lift three times his own bodyweight weight overhead, performing the feat in the clean & jerk at the 1983 World Championships. As a featherweight he came to prominence when he finished 2nd at the 1983 World Championships. He likely would have won the gold at the 1984 Olympics were it not for the boycott. As it was he won the Friendship Games that year with a total 40 kg. more than the winning total in Los Angeles. In 1988 he won the silver medal at the Seoul Olympics, losing to Bulgarian defector Naim Süleymanoğlu, who represented Turkey. Topurov had to lose 18 pounds to compete against Süleymanoğlu, but he did so because the Bulgarians were eager to have one of their weightlifters defeat the Bulgarian expatriate. Topurov was World featherweight champion in 1987 (315 kg.), and won the European featherweight title in 1984 and 1987. He set 12 featherweight world records – one in the snatch, six in the clean & jerk, and five in the total.