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.
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.
|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|
|6||Issy Bloomberg||22||South Africa||RSA||392.5|
|8||Clyde Emrich||21||United States||USA||380.0|
|9||Mohamed Ali Abdel Kerim||24||Egypt||EGY||377.5|