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Wrestling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall I, Helsinki
Date Started: July 24, 1952
Date Finished: July 27, 1952
Format: Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss of any type = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler. When only three wrestlers remained, if they had not yet met one another, they wrestled further rounds. Medal placements were determined by the match record among the medalists, with bad points as a tie breaker. A wrestler in the medal rounds could continue with 5 or more bad points.

Gold: FIN Kelpo Gröndahl
Silver: URS Shalva Chikhladze
Bronze: SWE Karl-Erik Nilsson


No wrestler was considered a heavy favorite with the event being quite open. The medalist round came down to Finland’s [Kelpo Gröndahl], Soviet Georgian [Shalva Chikhladze], and Sweden’s [Karl-Erik Nilsson]. Gröndahl defeated both wrestlers to win the gold medal, with the final match a dull affair against Chikhladze which came down to a split decision verdict for Gröndahl. He would later win the silver medal at the 1953 World Championships.

This was the end of Chikhladze’s career, who competed in Helsinki at 40-years-old. He had been Georgian half-heavyweight champion in 1932 and won the 1934 South Caucasus half-heavyweight title, but missed the best years of his career due to the war and the Soviets not entering international competition until the late 1940s.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal MMR/RE BP
1 Kelpo Gröndahl 32 Finland FIN Gold 2-0
2 Shalva Chikhladze 40 Soviet Union URS Silver 1-1
3 Karl-Erik Nilsson 30 Sweden SWE Bronze 0-2
4 Gyula Kovács 34 Hungary HUN
5 İsmet Atlı Turkey TUR
6T Umberto Silvestri 36 Italy ITA
6T Michel Skaff Lebanon LIB
AC Ovidiu Forai 33 Romania ROU Eliminated r2/6 5
AC Max Leichter 32 Germany GER Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Jos Schummer 21 Luxembourg LUX Eliminated r2/6 6