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Weightlifting at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall II, Helsinki
Date Started: July 27, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: URS Trofim Lomakin
Silver: USA Stan Stanczyk
Bronze: URS Arkady Vorobyov

Summary

American Stan Stanczyk was the defending gold medalist and had won the World Championships in 1949-51 and came to Helsinki as the heavy favorite. He would be opposed by two Soviet lifters, Trofim Lomakin and Arkady Vorobyov. Vorobyov had won silver at the 1950 World Championships, lifting the same total as Stanczyk, but losing on bodyweight. In the end this event degenerated into a Cold War contest, with American and Soviet officials arguing about the legality of each other’s lifts. Stanczyk took the lead after a 127.5 kg press, which the Soviets contested, but the judges ruled in Stanczyk’s favor. All three lifted 127.5 kg in the snatch, leaving Stanczyk in the lead entering the clean & jerk, but he was bested by Lomakin in the clean & jerk, who lifted 165.0 kg to Stanczyk’s 160.0 kg.

Vorobyov attempted to win gold with 170.0 kg, but on his initial approach to the bar, lifted it only a few inches and dropped it. This started a commotion as the officials argued if this counted as a lift. Vorobyov tried again and lifted the weight overhead and then released it, only to have two judges reject the lift. He left the stage and went to the dressing room, but his coach returned to tell him he was being awarded another lift. He had to dress, warm-up, and hurry out to the platform, and he failed badly on the final attempt, as the Soviet officials continued to argue that his previous lift had been clean. After all the arguing, the podium positions were Lomakin 1st, Stanczyk 2nd, and Vorobyov 3rd. Vorobyov would move up in class and win gold as a middle-heavyweight in 1956 and 1960.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Trofim Lomakin 27 Soviet Union URS Gold 417.5 OR
2 Stan Stanczyk 27 United States USA Silver 415.0
3 Arkady Vorobyov 27 Soviet Union URS Bronze 407.5
4 Mohammad Hassan Rahnavardi 25 Iran IRI 402.5
5 Jean Debuf 28 France FRA 400.0
6 Issy Bloomberg 22 South Africa RSA 392.5
7 Osvaldo Forte 33 Argentina ARG 382.5
8 Clyde Emrich 21 United States USA 380.0
9 Mohamed Ali Abdel Kerim 24 Egypt EGY 377.5
10 Georges Firmin 28 France FRA 377.5
11 Hans Claussen 40 Germany GER 362.5
12 Armando Rueda 23 Mexico MEX 360.0
13 Augusto Fiorentini 23 Italy ITA 360.0
14 Wilhelm Flenner 29 Austria AUT 352.5
15 Josef Hantych 40 Czechoslovakia TCH 345.0
16 Silvino Robin 28 Brazil BRA 345.0
17 Cecil Moore 22 Guyana GUY 342.5
18 Ilie Dancea 23 Romania ROU 330.0
19 Czesław Białas 21 Poland POL 325.0
AC Jack Varaleau 30 Canada CAN [112.5]
AC Orlando Garrido 28 Cuba CUB [122.5]
AC Sigvard Kinnunen 32 Sweden SWE [212.5]
AC Juhani Vellamo 40 Finland FIN DNF