Mehmet Akif Pirim

Mehmet Akif Pirim ( born September 17, 1968 in Rize ) is a former wrestler, who started for Turkey and Azerbaijan. In 1992 he became Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling at featherweight.


Mehmet Akif Pirim began as a teenager in 1984 when Sports Club Rize Çaykurspor with the rings, where he focused on the Greco- Roman style. Later he moved to the renowned Turkish sports club Spor Kulübü TEDAŞ to Ankara. At a size of 1.60 meters, he fought at featherweight. During his career, he had a whole range of excellent coaches. These were Vayramali Karaali, Osman Destebasi, Gennady Sapunov, Bilal Tabur, Ömer Suzan Mehmet Acak, Haluk Koc and Yakup Topuz. In addition to the rings, he completed a sports program at a university.

His international career began in 1988 with the participation in the World Youth Championship ( age group espoir ) in Walbrzych / Poland. He took it Bantamweight the 7th Place. This remained his only start at an international championship in the junior level. His debut at an international championship in the seniors he gave in 1991 at the European Championships in Aschaffenburg. He reached there in the featherweight the 9th Place. In the same year he won at the Mediterranean Games in Athens before Denni Urbinato from Italy. He celebrated his first major success then in September 1991 at the World Championships in Varna. He arrived there in the spring weight to the finals, in which he led until shortly before the end against Sergei Martynov from the Soviet Union 1-0 points, but then had to make a bigger score and so this fight but still lost. He thus became Vice World Champion.

At the European Championships 1992 in Copenhagen Mehmet Akif Pirim concluded, inter alia to a point victory over Mario Büttner from Germany, but ended up a total of only on the 7th Place. Well prepared by the new Turkey coach, former head coach of the Soviet national team in Greco- Roman wrestling Gennadi Sapunov he then went to the Olympic Games in Barcelona. He came at featherweight to victories over Juan Luis Maren Delis, Cuba ( 3-2 points after extra time ), Usama Aziz, Sweden (5-0 ), Stanislav Grigoryev, Bulgaria ( 2:1), Jeno Bodi, Hungary ( 7:3 ) and over the reigning world and European champion Sergei Martynov, he regularly outclassed with 13:2 points. He thus became Olympic champion.

In 1993, Mehmet Akif Pirim at the European Championships in Istanbul. He lost his first fight there against Sergei Martynov, who for his clear defeat at the Olympic Games with a clear victory ( 9-0 points) could return the favor. In the consolation round, Mehmet Akif Pirim still won but with wins over Alexander Davidovich, Belarus Israel, Mchitar Manukyan, Armenia and Georgia Saskavez, a bronze medal. After evaluation of the doping samples taken at this championship, however he was found guilty of doping. The bronze medal won was taken from him he was un locked until 9 May 1997. In 1995 he was pardoned by an inconsistent Arbitration Court of the FILA and could again take part in international championships since 1995.

At the European Championships in 1995 in Besancon he reached featherweight the 6th Place and in the World Championships in Prague in 1996, when he suffered defeats against Wlodzimierz Zawadzki, Poland and Mchitar Manukyan, he came even only to 12th place. Better he cut off again at the 1996 European Championships in Budapest, where he finished 5th. A better placement prevented Sergei Martynov, who won in this championship against Mehmet Akif Pirim. In excellent form, he stood again at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He lost his first fight there against Ivan Radnew, Bulgaria, because he was of the many detraining still weakened. Then, strengthened by fluid and food intake, he launched a unique triumph, but could his victories over Winston Santos Fuentos, Venezuela, Hu Guohong, China, Ahad Pazaj, Iran, Mchitar Manukyan, Grigori Kamuschenko, Ukraine and Koba Guliaschwili, Georgia only more win a bronze medal.

In 1997, came the surprising end for Mehmet Akif Pirim as No. 1 in his weight class of the Turkish national team wrestler. He was defeated by Şeref Eroğlu in the Turkish championship and came in the future no longer at this wrestler who incidentally same in 1997 world champion was over. At the beginning of 1999, therefore, he changed citizenship and was Azerbaijanis. Then to Azerbaijan, he also launched at the 1999 World Cup in Athens. He came there to a victory over Emil Budinow, Bulgaria and Christos Gikas, Greece, but then lost to Park Young -shin, South Korea. He finished only 14th place with these results and was not considered by the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation with other international championships. His Ringer career was ended.

He again took Turkish citizenship and since then has worked as a trainer and wrestler functionary.

International success


  • All competitions in the Greco-Roman style
  • OS = The Olympic Games, WM = World Championship, European Championship EM =
  • Bantamweight until 1996-57 kg featherweight until 1996-62 kg 1997-2001 63 kg, Lightweight, 1997-2001 bis 69 kg


  • Journal The Ringer
  • Website " Foeldeak Wrestling Database "