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Weightlifting at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight

Weightlifting at the 1952 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall II, Helsinki
Date Started: July 26, 1952
Date Finished: July 26, 1952
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: USA Tommy Kono
Silver: URS Yevgeny Lopatin
Bronze: AUS Vern Barberis


The Soviet lifter was [Yevgeny Lopatin], the 1950 World Championship silver medalist as a featherweight. He would be faced by America’s hope, little-known [Tommy Kono]. Kono had started lifting at an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Kono took the lead in the press with 105.0 kg, although matched by four other lifters, but he put the contest away in the snatch with a world record lift of 117.5 kg. Lopatin was only fifth after the snatch but his clean & jerk of 142.5 kg led that phase and he moved up to the silver medal. The bronze was won by [Vern Barberis], who won Australia’s first ever Olympic weightlifting medal.

Kono may have been little-known prior to Helsinki but this was the start of a legendary weightlifting career. He won gold again in Melbourne as a light-heavyweight and then a silver in Rome as a middleweight. He was World Champion every year from 1953-59. Kono also competed in bodybuilding, winning the 1954 Mr. World contest. Lopatin never competed again, retiring after Helsinki. Barberis would win gold in this class at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsSnatchMilitary PressClean & Jerk2nd Phase Summary

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Tommy Kono 22 United States USA Gold 362.5 OR
2 Yevgeny Lopatin 34 Soviet Union URS Silver 350.0
3 Vern Barberis 24 Australia AUS Bronze 350.0
4 Kim Chang-Hui 31 South Korea KOR 345.0
5 Hassan Ferdous 22 Iran IRI 345.0
6 Abdel Khadr El-Touni 28 Egypt EGY 342.5
7 Johan Runge 28 Denmark DEN 330.0
8 Thio Ging Hwie 28 Indonesia INA 327.5
9 Ermanno Pignatti 30 Italy ITA 325.0
10 Alfonso Canti 31 Italy ITA 320.0
11 Robert Belza 25 Czechoslovakia TCH 320.0
12 Arvid Andersson 33 Sweden SWE 317.5
13 Barry Engelbrecht 27 South Africa RSA 315.0
14 Nil Kyaw Yin 27 Myanmar MYA 310.0
15 Tauno Suoniemi 24 Finland FIN 310.0
16 Antonio Hoffmann 22 Puerto Rico PUR 307.5
17 Josef Tauchner 23 Austria AUT 307.5
18 Yorrie Evans 29 Great Britain GBR 307.5
19 Bjørn Heyn 23 Norway NOR 300.0
20 Roger Rubini 32 Switzerland SUI 295.0
21 Edward Ścigała 26 Poland POL 290.0
AC Toni Leuthe 29 Germany GER [190.0]
AC Jim Halliday 34 Great Britain GBR [205.0]
AC Thong Saw Pak Singapore SGP DNF