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Wrestling at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight, 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: URS Shazam Safin
Silver: SWE Gustav Freij
Bronze: TCH Mikuláš Athanasov


Hungarian [József Gál] was the 1950 World Champion but competed in Helsinki only in freestyle, where he did not place. The defending champion was Sweden’s [Gustav Freij] and he was back, having placed second to Gál at the 1950 Worlds, and he would again win the World title in 1953. The final round in Helsinki came down to Freij, Soviet [Shazam Saftin], and Czechoslovak [Mikuláš Athanasov], and with Freij and Saftin both defeating Athanasov, the gold medal match came down to Freij against Saftin, with Saftin winning by a unanimous decision. Saftin was almost completely unknown, having won only two bronzes in the Soviet Nationals, and his only other major international medal was a bronze as a lightweight at the 1953 Worlds.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal MMR/RE BP
1 Shazam Safin 20 Soviet Union URS Gold 2-0
2 Gustav Freij 30 Sweden SWE Silver 1-1
3 Mikuláš Athanasov 21 Czechoslovakia TCH Bronze 0-2
4 Gyula Tarr 21 Hungary HUN
5T Kalle Haapasalmi 25 Finland FIN
5T Franco Benedetti 19 Italy ITA
5T Dumitru Cuc 24 Romania ROU
AC Kamal Hussain 20 Egypt EGY Eliminated r3/7 5
AC André Verdaine 29 France FRA Eliminated r3/7 5
AC Erich Schmidt 27 Saar SAA Eliminated r3/7 5
AC Jack Rasmussen 29 Denmark DEN Eliminated r3/7 6
AC Zbigniew Szajewski 38 Poland POL Eliminated r3/7 6
AC Jan Cools 33 Belgium BEL Eliminated r3/7 7
AC Georgios Petmezas 37 Greece GRE Eliminated r2/7 5
AC Heini Nettesheim 36 Germany GER Eliminated r2/7 6
AC Arístides Pérez 18 Guatemala GUA Eliminated r2/7 6
AC Metty Scheitler 36 Luxembourg LUX Eliminated r2/7 6
AC Aage Eriksen 35 Norway NOR Eliminated r2/7 6
AC Raif Akbulut Turkey TUR Withdrew r2/7 3