Kadyrov’s bench-press challenge: Chechen leader pumps iron for presidential election

The leader of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, known for his love for iron, is promoting the upcoming presidential polls with a weightlifting challenge to other top officials. His benchmark is pressing 100kg 18 times.

In a video clip published on Kadyrov’s Twitter account on Sunday, he performs the bench press in a gym. He then challenges “elder brothers” like Parliament Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Rashid Temrezov, head of the southern Karachay-Cherkess Republic to follow suit.

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“I am also calling on you all to take part in the election of the president of the Russian Federation and elect a worthy candidate. I stand for a worthy president. Allahu Akbar (God is great),” he concludes.

Kadyrov, a controversial figure of the Russian political landscape, is a well-known advocate of fitness and sports like mixed martial arts. He has previously featured in a number of videos promoting athleticism, in which he is shown in a boxing ring, pumping iron in a gym, or running in Chechnya’s forested mountains.

The Russian presidential election takes place on March 18.

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