Pete George had won a silver medal in this event at London in 1948. He was also second at the 1949 and 1950 World Championships, both times trailing Egypt’s Khadr El-Touni, the 1936 Olympic champion, but George came into Helsinki as the favorite after winning the 1951 World Championships, in which El-Touni placed third. El-Touni did not compete in Helsinki, but Kim Seong-Jip, bronze medalist at London, was back. Kim led after the press, tied with Canada’s Gérard Gratton with 122.5 kg, with George well back with 115.0 kg. George then moved into a comfortable lead with his snatch of 127.5 kg, and his clean & jerk of 157.5 kg was also the best of the competition, which brought him the gold medal. Gratton and Kim both lifted 112.5 kg in the snatch to remain tied, but Gratton won the silver medal with his clean & jerk of 155.0 kg, while Kim took the bronze medal. This was one of only two classes in Helsinki in which no Soviet lifter competed, the other being the heavyweight division.