Nurcan Taylan

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Nurcan Taylan
Personal information
Born (1983-10-29) October 29, 1983 (age 35)
Ankara, Turkey
Height1.52 m (5 ft 0 in)
Weight48 kg (106 lb)
Event(s)– 48 kg
ClubYenimahalle Sports Club, Ankara
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • Snatch: 97.5 kg (2004)
  • Clean and jerk: 121 kg (2010)
  • Total: 214 kg (2010)

Nurcan Taylan (born October 29, 1983 in Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish Olympic, world and European champion in weightlifting. She holds six European and one world record (and tied two more world records).


She was born in Mamak, Ankara as the third child of a poor family originating from the town of Hafik in Sivas, Central Anatolia. Taylan was discovered at age of eleven by the Turkish national athlete and her later coach Mehmet Üstündağ as he was her teacher in physical education at the Mamak Secondary School in Ankara.

Only 1.52 m (5 ft) tall, she lifted two World and five Olympic records in the women’s 48 kg category at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Nurcan Taylan is Turkey's first ever female Olympic gold medalist.[1]

She is student of physical education and sports and member of the Yenimahalle Club in Ankara.


In September 2004, a Turkish court ordered the arrest of the coach of the Turkish women’s weightlifting team, Mehmet Üstündağ, after three female athletes filed complaints of sexual harassment against him. In court, Üstündağ denied allegations of repeated physical sexual molestation going back several years, fielded by Sibel Şimşek, Aylin Daşdelen and Şule Şahbaz, all of them being members of the Turkish women's team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

But the court ordered him to be placed under detention in view of the "alleged crime's nature, the evidence collected and feelings of anger it has inspired in the public". The allegations first hit the media in early September when the three athletes gave extensive interviews to newspapers and television channels. Daşdelen told a television news program that Üstündağ also made it a habit of "beating" his charges, going so far as to blame the trainer for the 1999 suicide of teammate Esma Can. The only support for Üstündağ came from Taylan, who in turn "accused" her three teammates of being lesbians. Turkish sports officials immediately launched an official investigation. Üstündağ had come under investigation on similar charges four years ago, but the evidence was inconclusive. The Turkish Weightlifting Federation did not allow Taylan to participate at the 2005 European Weightlifting Championship held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Doping case[edit]

She was banned by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) after she tested positive for the anabolic steroid Methandienone for four years starting on 26 October 2011. Taylan missed the London Olympics.[2][3]

In October 2012, her suspension was shortened to two years that will allow her to return to action on 26 October 2013.[4]


Olympic Games
Rank Discipline Snatch Clean&Jerk Total Place Date
 Gold 48 kg 97.5 CWR 210.0 WR Athens, GRE Aug 14, 2004
 Silver 48 kg 112.5
World Championships
Rank Discipline Snatch Clean&Jerk Total Place Date
 Gold 48 kg 93.0 121.0 WR 214.0 Antalya, TUR Sep 18, 2010
 Silver 48 kg 90.0 115.0 Goyang, KOR Nov 21, 2009
 Bronze 48 kg 205.0
 Silver 48 kg 87.5 105.0 192.5 Warsaw, POL Nov 19, 2002
 Bronze 48 kg 85.0 187.5 Vancouver, B.C., CAN Nov 18, 2003
5 48 kg 102.5
European Championships
Rank Discipline Snatch Clean&Jerk Total Place Date
 Gold 48 kg 90.0 105.0 195.0 Kazan, RUS Apr 11, 2011
 Gold 48 kg 90.0 118.0 208.0 Minsk, BLR Apr 5, 2010
 Gold 48 kg 88.0 108.0 196.0 Bucharest, ROM Apr 6, 2009
 Gold 48 kg 87.0 109.0 196.0 Lignano Sabbiadoro, ITA Apr 2, 2008
 Gold 53 kg 95.5 ER 115.5 ER 210.0 Kiev, UKR Apr 20, 2004
 Gold J 53 kg 95.0 ER 115.0 ER 210.0 ER Loutraki, GRE Apr 15, 2003
 Gold J 48 kg 87.5 ER 105.0 ER 192.5 ER Warsaw, POL Nov 19, 2002

Mediterranean Games

Rank Discipline Snatch Clean&Jerk Total Place Date
 Gold 53 kg 87.0 MR 108.0 MR Almería, ESP Jun 26, 2005
  • J: Junior
  • CWR: Current world record
  • WR: World record
  • ER: European record
  • MR: Mediterranean record

World rank[edit]

2004 World ranking list for the category "Women 48 kg" is as following:

Rank Athlete Snatch Clean&Jerk Total Place Date
1 Nurcan Taylan, TUR 97.5 112.5 210.0 Athens, GRE Aug 14, 2004
2 Zhuo Li, CHN 90.0 115.0 205.0 Almaty, Kazakhstan Apr 7, 2004
3 Wei Gao, CHN 90.0 110.0 200.0 Minsk, BLR May 24, 2004
3= Aree Wiratthaworn, THA 85.0 115.0 200.0 Athens, GRE Aug 14 2004


  1. ^ BIA Net August 16, 2004 Archived February 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (in Turkish)
  2. ^ "Sanctioned athletes - 2011". IWF. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  3. ^ "Turkish weightlifting champion Nurcan Taylan receives 4-year ban for doping, misses Olympics". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Nurcan Taylan'ın cezası 2 yıla indirildi". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2012-10-06. Retrieved 2012-10-06.

External links[edit]