Arley Mendez became World Champion on Dec. 3 2017 in Anaheim California at the IWF World Weightlifting Championships. He beat Olympic and World Champion Kianoush Rostami. Granted that Rostami had an injured knee and it was visible with an ice pack when he came out to receive his snatch silver medal other elite 85kg lifters were missing such as Artem Okkulov (Rus), Denis Ulanov (Kaz), and Apti Aukhadov (Rus) all serving banned sentences for use of prohibited substances.
Arley demonstrated amazing lifting strength by snatching 175kg and making all three of his snatch attempts but also attempted a world record of 221kg in the clean and jerk. He cleaned the weight but missed the jerk. However, no one before had heard of or seen of Arley Mendez who represents Chile. Chile has virtually little to any lifting talent in the past or present Weightlifting world.
Who is Arley Mendez?
Arley Mendez was born in Cuba and developed his Weightlifitng skills in the Cuban Weightlifting system. He defected to Chile in a tournament in that country seeking better opportunities for him and his new born son. He wants to represent his new country of Chile eventually returning to his home country of Cuba. Below is an interview in Spanish where he shares his thoughts on his new country of Chile and with the goal of lifting in the Olympics: