Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Empress Hall, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London
Date Started: August 3, 1948
Date Finished: August 6, 1948
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 2 points; loss by 3-0 decision = 3 points; loss by fall = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler.
Soviet Konstantin Koberidze had won the 1947 European Championship, but could not compete at London, as the Soviet Union did not appear in the Olympics until the 1952 Helsinki Games. Gyula Kovács of Hungary had been second to Koberidze at the 1947 Europeans (also finishing second as a heavyweight at the 1939 Europeans) and was the only medalist competing in Helsinki, but he was eliminated in round five after losing to Egyptian Ibrahim Orabi. Orabi then lost to Sweden’s Karl-Erik Nilsson in round six, which eliminated him. Nilsson then won a unanimous decision over Finland’s Kelpo Gröndahl to win the gold medal, with Gröndahl taking silver, and Orabi bronze.
Gröndahl would return in four years and win the gold medal at Helsinki. Nilsson also competed again at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in this class each time. Kovács finished fourth, as he would at Helsinki in 1952, but he did win a silver medal at the 1950 World Championships. Orabi had competed at the 1936 Olympics, placing fifth in the middleweight Greco-Roman event. Fifth place in London went to Britain’s Ken Richmond who became a famous strongman in England, but was best known as the strongman who struck the gong at the beginning of films produced by J. Arthur Rank.
|5||Ken Richmond||22||Great Britain||GBR|
|6||Erling Stuer Lauridsen||31||Denmark||DEN|
|AC||Peter Enzinger||32||Austria||AUT||Eliminated r3/6||6|
|AC||Karel Istaz||23||Belgium||BEL||Eliminated r3/6||7|
|AC||Mustafa Avcioğlu-Çakmak||38||Turkey||TUR||Eliminated r3/6||7|
|AC||Umberto Silvestri||32||Italy||ITA||Withdrew r3/6||4|
|AC||Adolfo Ramírez||26||Argentina||ARG||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Athanasios Kambaflis||Greece||GRE||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Albin Dannacher||Switzerland||SUI||Eliminated r2/6||6|
|AC||Ibrahim Mahgoub||Lebanon||LIB||Withdrew r2/6||3|