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. Finland’s Eino Leino, who lived and wrestled in the United States, had won gold and silver medals at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics in freestyle, and had to be considered a favorite, although he had previously wrestled as a middleweight (1920) and welterweight (1924). But in the second round he lost to the unknown French wrestler Charles Pacôme, who then lost in the semi-finals to Estonian Osvald Käpp. Käpp defeated Norway’s Birger Nilsen for the gold medal, but Nilsen lost out in the second-place tournament to Pacôme who won the silver medal.
The bronze was won by Leino, who defeated Nilsen for third place. Although Pacôme had been a surprise medalist he came back at Los Angeles in 1932 and won the gold medal in this class. Käpp also competed in 1932 but failed to medal. Moving back to welterweight in 1932, Leino would win his fourth consecutive freestyle wrestling medal, with another bronze, making him the first Olympic wrestler to win medals at four Olympic Games.
|5||Carlo Tesdorf Jørgensen||25||Denmark||DEN|
|6||Clarence Berryman||21||United States||USA|
|10T||George MacKenzie||39||Great Britain||GBR|