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Safi Taha

Full name: Safi J. Taha
Original name: صافي طه
Gender: Male
Born: December 23, 1923 in Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Died: February 22, 2009 in Pompano Beach, Florida, United States
Country: LIB Lebanon
Sport: Wrestling

Related Olympians: Brother of Khalil Taha.

Biography

A top national and international Greco-Roman wrestler throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, Safi Taha finished joint-sixth in the featherweight division of the tournament at the 1948 Summer Olympics. Two years later, in the same competition at the 1950 World Championships, he won a silver medal. It was Lebanon’s only podium finish that year, captured behind Sweden’s Olle Anderberg, the runner-up from 1948. Anderberg would go on to claim the gold medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics, but Taha withdrew after the third round, despite being in the lead prior to this. After a gold medal at a wrestling tournament in Istanbul, the Lebanese state awarded him an Order of Merit for his achievements in the sport, in addition to his work in popularizing it and making the country a center for wrestling prowess.

Taha moved to the United States in 1954, winning a national championship, and soon took up a coaching position in his new country in addition to publishing a widely-read and popular work on Greco-Roman wrestling. He later served as the coach of the Lebanese national wrestling team and guided them to five gold and eleven silver medals at the 1961 Pan Arab Games. His brother Khalil was also a championship wrestler who won a bronze medal in the welterweight division of the Olympic Greco-Roman tournament in 1952.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman Lebanon LIB 6T
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman Lebanon LIB AC

Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result BP MR MMR/RE
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Final Standings 6T 1948-08-03
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Four 6T 1948-08-05 7
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Four Match #3 2 1948-08-05 Campanella (ITA) decision (3-0), Taha (LIB) 3
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Three 6T 1948-08-05 4
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Three Match #6 2 1948-08-05 Weidner (AUT) fall (11:21), Taha (LIB) 3
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Two 2T 1948-08-04 1
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Two Match #7 1 1948-08-04 Taha (LIB) decision (3-0), Merle (FRA) 1
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round One 1T 1948-08-03 0
1948 Summer 24 London Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round One Match #5 1 1948-08-03 Taha (LIB) fall (1:46), Strasser (LUX) 0
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Final Standings AC 1952-07-24 3 Withdrew r4/6
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Three 4T 1952-07-26 3
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Three Match #1 2 1952-07-26 Punkin (URS) decision (3-0), Taha (LIB) 3
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Two 1T 1952-07-25 0
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round Two Match #1 1 1952-07-25 Taha (LIB) fall (2:35), Girón (GUA) 0
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round One 1T 1952-07-24 0
1952 Summer 28 Helsinki Wrestling Lebanon LIB Round One Match #9 AC 1952-07-24 Taha (LIB) 0
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