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.