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Weightlifting at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Middle-Heavyweight

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Weightlifting Hall, Exhibition Lands (Hall 7), München
Date Started: September 3, 1972
Date Finished: September 3, 1972
Format: Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: BUL Andon Nikolov
Silver: BUL Atanas Shopov
Bronze: SWE Hans Bettembourg


Soviet [David Rigert] was probably the heaviest favorite in the 1972 Olympic weightlifting competition. He had won the 1971 World Championships and his world record of 562.5 kg was well ahead of his peers. Rigert took the lead with a press of 187.5 kg but then failed all three of his snatch attempts and was out. He responded by banging his head against a wall, and pulling his hair out, and had to be restrained by his coaches. With Rigert out the event was wide-open and Bulgarians took the gold and silver medals, with [Andon Nikolov] winning gold and [Atanas Shopov] silver. At the 1976 Olympics Rigert would return and win the gold medal, with Shopov winning bronze, but at the 1980 Olympics Rigert again failed on all of his snatch attempts.

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

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Andon Nikolov 21 Bulgaria BUL Gold 525.0 OR
2 Atanas Shopov 20 Bulgaria BUL Silver 517.5
3 Hans Bettembourg 28 Sweden SWE Bronze 512.5
4 Phil Grippaldi 25 United States USA 505.0
5 Rick Holbrook 24 United States USA 505.0
6 Nick Ciancio 25 Australia AUS 505.0
7 Juan Curbelo 26 Cuba CUB 495.0
8 Jaakko Kailajärvi 31 Finland FIN 487.5
9 Dietrich Leh 29 West Germany FRG 487.5
10 Pierre Gourrier 25 France FRA 472.5
11 Nikos Iliadis 21 Greece GRE 470.0
12 Aimo Nieminen 32 Finland FIN 460.0
13 Guðmundur Sigurðsson 26 Iceland ISL 455.0
14 Rudolf Litsch 28 Austria AUT 455.0
15 Osman Mert 24 Turkey TUR 455.0
15 Peter Arthur 33 Great Britain GBR 455.0
17 Wayne Wilson 22 Canada CAN 435.0
18 César Gaudin 27 Puerto Rico PUR 425.0
AC David Rigert 25 Soviet Union URS [187.5]
AC Frank Rothwell 36 Ireland IRL DNF
AC Ryoichi Goto 23 Japan JPN DNF
AC Rudolf Hill 24 Austria AUT DNF
AC John Bolton 27 New Zealand NZL DNF