America's three-time Olympic weightlifting medallist Isaac "Ike" Berger, known as the "mighty Jew", has died at the age of 85 ©Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time Olympic weightlifting medallist Isaac "Ike" Berger has died at the age of 85, it has been announced.

The American won the gold medal in the under-60 kilograms at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne having been granted United States citizenship only a few months earlier having emigrated from the country now known as Israel, where he was born to a rabbi.

He returned to the Olympics at Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964, winning the silver medal on each occasion.

At Rome 1960, Berger’s silver came after an historic 10-hour battle to the Soviet Union’s Yevgeny Minayev - one that ended at 4am in the morning.

Berger also twice won the World Championships, at Stockholm in 1958 and Vienna in 1961, and the Pan American Games, at Chicago 1959 and São Paulo 1963.

Overall, he won six World Championship medals, including three silver and a bronze.

Berger was the first featherweight in history to combine lift more than 800 pounds (360kg) - spread over two different lifts - even as his bodyweight never surpassed 60kg, or about 132 pounds.

Born in 1936 in British Mandatory Palestine, Berger was raised by a Hasidic family in the Beit Yisrael neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

Isaac "Ike" Berger was born in British Mandatory Palestine - now Israel - before his family emigrated to the US, who he represented at three consecutive Olympic Games, winning a gold medal at Melbourne 1956 ©USA Weightlifting

Berger and his family moved to the US in 1949, and he became a citizen six years later.

At the 1957 Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Berger was the first athlete to break a world record in any sport in Israel.

His gold medal was presented by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who called Berger the "gibor Yehudi," or "Mighty Jew".

Berger was inducted into the US Weightlifting Hall of Fame in 1965 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

In 2017, Berger auctioned his Melbourne 1956 gold medal for $6,278 (£5,190/€5,986).

The following year, he sold the replacement Tokyo 1964 silver medal he had been awarded, after it had been stolen from his blind brother, along with his one from Rome 1960, for $6,669.60 (£5,514.68/€6,361.21).

Berger died on June 4.