Host City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Venue(s): Power Sports Building, Amsterdam
Date Started: July 30, 1928
Date Finished: August 1, 1928
Format: Single-elimination tournament with separate single-elimination tournaments for second- and third-place. Second-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner. Third-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner or runner-up.
No international freestyle events had been contested since the 1924 Olympics so it was difficult to choose a favorite. Of the seven entrants only Finland’s [Edil Rosenqvist] and Britain’s [Bernard Rowe] had ever competed at the Olympics. Rosenqvist had been a silver medalist in Greco-Roman in both 1920 and 1924, but this was his first Olympic appearance in freestyle. Rowe had competed as a middleweight freestyler in 1924, but went out early. Sweden’s [Thure Sjöstedt] had won a silver medal at the 1927 European Championships but in Greco-Roman, which made it difficult to pick a favorite.
In the end, though, Sjöstedt came through for the gold medal in his two matches, defeating Switzerland’s [Arnold Bögli] and American [Heywood Edwards], who had defeated Rosenqvist in round one. Bögli defeated Edwards for the silver medal in the only match in the second-place tournament. Edwards lost again in the third-place tournament, with the bronze going to Frenchman [Henri Lefèbvre]. Of the seven wrestlers in this class, only Sjöstedt would ever compete at the Olympics again, winning a silver medal in the same event in 1932.