|Date||26 July 1952 — 12:00|
|Location||Messuhalli II, Helsinki|
|Participants||24 from 22 countries|
|Format||Total of best lifts in military press, snatch, and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.|
The Soviet lifter was Yevgeny Lopatin, the 1950 World Championship silver medalist as a featherweight. He would be faced by America’s hope, little-known Tommy Kono. Kono had started lifting at an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Kono took the lead in the press with 105.0 kg, although matched by four other lifters, but he put the contest away in the snatch with a world record lift of 117.5 kg. Lopatin was only fifth after the snatch but his clean & jerk of 142.5 kg led that phase and he moved up to the silver medal. The bronze was won by Vern Barberis, who won Australia’s first ever Olympic weightlifting medal.
Kono may have been little-known prior to Helsinki but this was the start of a legendary weightlifting career. He won gold again in Melbourne as a light-heavyweight and then a silver in Rome as a middleweight. He was World Champion every year from 1953-59. Kono also competed in bodybuilding, winning the 1954 Mr. World contest. Lopatin never competed again, retiring after Helsinki. Barberis would win gold in this class at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.
|6||Abdel Qader El-Touni||EGY||342.5|
|8||Thio Ging Hwie||INA||327.5|
|14||Nil Kyaw Yin||MYA||310.0|
|Thong Saw Pak||SGP||–|