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Weightlifting at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Middle-Heavyweight

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 26, 1956
Date Finished: November 26, 1956
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: URS Arkady Vorobyov
Silver: USA Dave Sheppard
Bronze: FRA Jean Debuf


[Arkady Vorobyov] of the Soviet Union had won a silver medal in the light-heavyweight class at Helsinki, although the Soviet officials vigorously protested some of the rulings against his lifts and for the lifts by the American silver medalist [Stan Stanczyk]. Since 1952 Vorobyov had won three World titles, as a light-heavy in 1953 but moving up to middle-heavy in 1954-55, and as the world record holder in this class, he was a clear favorite. Vorobyov opened with a world record in the press, lifting 147.5 kg, and that was that. He led all three lifts, although American [Dave Sheppard] equalled his snatch of 137.5 kg, and finished with a world record total of 462.5 kg. Sheppard won the silver medal, 20 kg in arrears, while the bronze went to Frenchman [Jean Debuf].

Vorobyov would win the World Championship again in 1957-58 and defended his gold medal in the class at Rome in 1960. He was also European Champion in 1950, 1953-55, and 1958 and set 26 world records as a weightlifter. Sheppard was a four-time runner-up at the Worlds, never managing to beat Vorobyov, finishing second in 1951, 1953-54, and 1958. Debuf competed at four Olympics, improving from fourth in 1948 and fifth in 1952 to win his bronze medal in Melbourne, before finishing 11th in 1960. He was a three-time European Champion, winning as a light-heavy in 1949 and 1951 and a middle-heavy in 1956.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsMilitary PressSnatchClean & Jerk2nd Phase Summary

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Arkady Vorobyov 32 Soviet Union URS Gold 462.5 WR
2 Dave Sheppard 24 United States USA Silver 442.5
3 Jean Debuf 32 France FRA Bronze 425.0
4 Mohammad Hassan Rahnavardi 29 Iran IRI 425.0
5 Ivan Veselinov 30 Bulgaria BUL 407.5
6 Tan Kim Bee Malaya MAL 395.0
7 Lennox Kilgour 29 Trinidad and Tobago TTO 390.0
8 Leonard Treganowan 25 Australia AUS 390.0
9T Sydney Harrington 30 Great Britain GBR 385.0
9T Manny Santos 21 Australia AUS 385.0
11 Kamineni Eswara Rao 38 India IND 380.0
12 Bruno Barabani 24 Brazil BRA 367.5
AC Park Dong-Cheol South Korea KOR [120.0]
AC Czesław Białas 25 Poland POL [130.0]
AC Carlos Seigeshifer Argentina ARG [237.5]