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Wrestling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Helsinki, Finland
Venue(s): Exhibition Hall I, Helsinki; Exhibition Hall II, Helsinki
Date Started: July 20, 1952
Date Finished: July 23, 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: SWE Viking Palm
Silver: USA Henry Wittenberg
Bronze: TUR Adil Atan


American [Henry Wittenberg] was the defending gold medalist and was back, and had not been beaten since the 1948 Olympics, although he had wrestled mostly in the United States. His biggest challenger was expected to be Sweden’s [Viking Palm], runner-up at the 1949 Europeans and 1951 World Championships. The gold medal was effectively decided in round three when Palm and Wittenberg met, with Palm winning by unanimous decision. Both went on to the final round, joined by Turkey’s [Adil Atan]. In the final match Palm won a split decision over Atan, which secured him the gold medal, with Wittenberg taking silver, having defeated Atan by fall, and Atan the bronze medal. Palm would compete at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics in this event, but failed to medal. Atan would return to the Olympics at Melbourne in 1956, competing in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, but also failed to mount the podium. For Wittenberg, who was also a two-time champion at the Maccabiah Games, this was the end of his wrestling career.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal MMR/RE BP
1 Viking Palm 28 Sweden SWE Gold 2-0
2 Henry Wittenberg 33 United States USA Silver 1-1
3 Adil Atan 23 Turkey TUR Bronze 0-2
4 August Englas 27 Soviet Union URS
5 Abbas Zandi 22 Iran IRI
6 Jan Theron 21 South Africa RSA
AC Paavo Sepponen 28 Finland FIN Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Max Leichter 32 Germany GER Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Willy Lardon Switzerland SUI Withdrew r3/6 3
AC Shirang Jadav 24 India IND Eliminated r2/6 5
AC Kevin Coote 20 Australia AUS Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Bob Steckle 21 Canada CAN Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Rodolfo Padron 24 Venezuela VEN Eliminated r2/6 6