And the Winners Are (90kg, Helsinki, 1952)

1952-90kg

History in Color: 1952 Olympics

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July 27, 1952, Helsinki, Finland: The winners of the 1952 Summer Olympics in the 90kg weight class are on the medal stand at the Messuhalli (Exhibition Hall) arena.

Left to right:
Grigory Novak (CCCP, silver medal), Norbert Schemanski (USA, gold medal), Lennox Kilgour (Trinidad, bronze medal)

This original black-and-white photo was made 65 years ago. There are three true legends of the Olympic weightlifting pictured here.

Grigory Novak was the first Soviet World champion ever. Not just in weightlifting – in all sports. He had a phenomenal press lift. Authors still write historical and scientific papers about his press lifting.

Despite this, the weightlifting champions were being determined by the total of three lifts and Novak stopped progressing in the other two lifts of the program at some point of his career. Why would he bother working on those if he had such a cosmic set of results in the press? It was enough to win against any opponents at the time.

Obviously, it was a mistake. 28-year old Norb Schemansky of Detroit, MI caught Novak exactly on this mistaken assumption that Novak’s superb pressing would guarantee him a gold Olympic medal.

Schemansky had a great performance in Helsinki – he did 9 for 9 that night! He also did two additional lifts for the world records in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. On the other hand, Novak lifted 3 for 9 which was obviously a very poor tactical score.

1952 Summer Olympics
Location: Helsinki, FIN
Weight Class: Middle Heavyweight  [90 kg]
More Info On 1952 Summer Olympics
Rank Athlete Results (kg)
1 Norbert SCHEMANSKY, United States 127.5 + 140WR+ 177.5WR = 445WR
2 Grigory NOVAK, Soviet Union 140OR + 125+ 145 = 410
3 Lennox KILGOUR, Trinidad and Tobago 125 + 120+ 157.5 = 402.5
4 Mohamed Ibrahim SALEH, Egypt 110 + 125+ 162.5 = 397.5
5 Firouz POJHAN, Iran 112.5 + 120+ 155 = 387.5
6 Ken MCDONALD, Australia 107.6 + 125+ 152.5 = 385
7 Francisco RENSONNET, Argentina 107.5 + 112.5+ 150 = 370
8 Theunis JONCK, South Africa 112.5 + 110+ 145 = 367.5
9 Luciano ZARDI , Italy 100 + 117.5+ 150 = 367.5
10 Kai OUTA , Finland 107.5 + 110+ 147.5 = 365
11 Borje Hilbert JEPPSSON, Sweden 112.5 + 107.5+ 142.5 = 362.5
12 Jorge SOTO, Puerto Rico 107.5 + 110+ 140 = 357.5
13 Jorgen Ludvig BARTH-JORGENSEN, Norway 100 + 112.5+ 142.5 = 355
14 Bruno BARABANI , Brasil 97.5 + 112.5+ 145 = 355
15 Jens Jorn TEGELHUS MORTENSEN, Denmark 102.5 + 100+ 142.5 = 345
16 Efraim GUSGUIZA FLORES, Romania 95 + 102.5+ 132.5 = 330
900 Laszlo BURONYI, Hungary 110 + 110+ 0 = 0
900 Joseph Melville BARNETT, Great Britain 117.5 + 110+ 0 = 0
900 Erich SEIDL, India 107.5 + 105+ 0 = 0
900 Robert ALLART, Belgium 110 + 0+ 0 = 0

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