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.
|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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