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Weightlifting at the 1948 London Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Empress Hall, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London
Date Started: August 11, 1948
Date Finished: August 11, 1948
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: USA Stan Stanczyk
Silver: USA Harold Sakata
Bronze: SWE Gösta Magnusson


American [Stan Stanczyk] had been lightweight World Champion in 1946 and middleweight World Champion in 1947, but he kept gaining weight and competed in London as a light-heavy. It mattered little as he won the class in dominant fashion, with the highest lift in all three phases of the event. In the snatch, he seemingly lifted 132.5 kg on his third attempt, but in a gesture of good sportsmanship, pointed out to the judges that his knee had touched down, negating the lift. His final victory margin of 37.5 kg would remain the greatest ever in Olympic weightlifting until 2004, when Iran’s [Hossein Reza Zadeh] would win the super-heavyweight division by 38.5 kg. Stanczyk returned in 1952 and won the silver medal at Helsinki, trailing Soviet lifter [Trofim Lomakin].

The silver medal in London went to Hawaiian lifter [Harold Sakata]. He had no international record, but would become the best known of the 1948 weightlifters when he turned first to acting and later to professional wrestling, as Tosh Togo. His acting career led to his best-known role, when he played Oddjob, a villain in the James Bond movie classic, Goldfinger.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsSnatchClean & JerkMilitary Press2nd Phase Summary

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Stan Stanczyk 23 United States USA Gold 417.5 OR
2 Harold Sakata 28 United States USA Silver 380.0
3 Gösta Magnusson 32 Sweden SWE Bronze 375.0
4 Jean Debuf 24 France FRA 370.0
5 Osvaldo Forte 29 Argentina ARG 367.5
6 Jack Varaleau 26 Canada CAN 365.0
7 Juhani Vellamo 36 Finland FIN 355.0
8 Rasoul Raisi 23 Iran IRI 355.0
9 Ernie Roe Great Britain GBR 355.0
10 László Buronyi Hungary HUN 355.0
11 Raymond Herbaux 28 France FRA 350.0
11 Mohamed Ibrahim Saleh Egypt EGY 350.0
13 Wilhelm Pankl 33 Austria AUT 347.5
14 Fritz Haller 43 Austria AUT 342.5
15 Carlos Bisiak Peru PER 332.5
16 Lee Yeong-Hwan South Korea KOR 205.0