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Cycling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Sprint

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Helsinki Velodrome, Helsinki
Date Started: July 28, 1952
Date Finished: July 31, 1952
Format: 1,000 metres.

Gold: ITA Enzo Sacchi
Silver: AUS Lionel Cox
Bronze: GER Werner Potzernheim

Summary

With Russell Mockridge (AUS) opting to compete in only the kilo and the tandem, Italy’s Enzo Sacchi became the heavy favorite. Sacchi was World Champion in 1951 and would win the world title later in 1952 as well. For the first time since 1928, all matches were only a single race, rather than racing the medal rounds as best two of three. Twenty-seven cyclists came to the line in the first round. There were eight first round heats and four repêchages to qualify 12 riders for four quarter-finals. The second quarter-final repêchage had four competitors – Antonio Giménez, Béla Szekeres, Stéphan Martens, and Franck le Normand. Giménez led on the last turn when le Normand attempted to come around the pack, only to catch the rear wheel of Martens, with both of them going to the track. A re-race was ordered but le Normand could not compete and was taken to the hospital. Martens did start the re-race but could not put up much a battle, as the race was won by Giménez.

Two semi-finals qualified Sacchi and Australia’s Lionel Cox for the final. Werner Potzernheim (GER) also made the final via a repêchage after the semis. Sacchi won the final by what the 1952 Official Report termed a "narrow, but safe margin." Cox placed second and the bronze went to Potzernheim. Potzernheim would again win sprint bronze at the 1954 World Championships. Sacchi turned professional after the Olympics, and competed until 1965. He never managed a professional world title, but in the sprint was second in 1953, third in 1954, and again second in 1958. Shortly after the final of the sprint, Cox teamed with Mockridge to win the tandem sprint gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Enzo Sacchi 26 Italy ITA Gold
2 Lionel Cox 22 Australia AUS Silver
3 Werner Potzernheim 25 Germany GER Bronze
4 Cyril Peacock 22 Great Britain GBR
5 Ray Robinson 22 South Africa RSA
6 Béla Szekeres Hungary HUN
2 h2 r4/7 Antonio Giménez 21 Argentina ARG
2 h1 r4/7 John Millman 21 Canada CAN
3 h1 r4/7 Jan Hijzelendoorn 23 Netherlands NED
4 h1 r4/7 Ove Krogh Rants 26 Denmark DEN
3 h2 r4/7 Stéphan Martens 20 Belgium BEL
AC h2 r4/7 Franck Le Normand 20 France FRA DNF
2 h1 r2/7 Otar Dadunashvili 24 Soviet Union URS
2 h2 r2/7 Fritz Siegenthaler 23 Switzerland SUI
2 h3 r2/7 Kurt Nemetz 25 Austria AUT
2 h4 r2/7 Hernán Masanés 20 Chile CHI
3 h1 r2/7 Luis Toro 26 Venezuela VEN
3 h2 r2/7 Zdeněk Košta 29 Czechoslovakia TCH
3 h3 r2/7 Muhammad Naqi Mallick 24 Pakistan PAK
3 h4 r2/7 Colin Dickinson 20 New Zealand NZL
4 h1 r2/7 Steve Hromjak 22 United States USA
4 h2 r2/7 Kihei Tomioka 20 Japan JPN
4 h4 r2/7 Ken Farnum 21 Jamaica JAM
5 h1 r2/7 Helge Törn 23 Finland FIN
5 h4 r2/7 Ion Ioniţă 24 Romania ROU
3 h2 r1/7 Netai Bysack 31 India IND
4 h6 r1/7 Gustavo Martínez 20 Guatemala GUA