Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Germany Hall, Berlin
Date Started: August 6, 1936
Date Finished: August 9, 1936
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 2 points; loss by 3-0 decision = 3 points; loss by fall = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler.
Germany’s Kurt Hornfischer had won the European title in 1933-35 and was expected to win in front of his countrymen. He made it to the final round where he was met by Estonian Kristjan Palusalu and Sweden’s John Nyman. Nyman drew a bye, and Palusalu defeated Hornfischer by unanimous decision. Since Palusalu had already defeated Nyman earlier in the tournament, this gave the gold medal to Palusalu, with Nyman winning silver and Hornfischer bronze.
Estonian Kristjan Palusalu had only previously competed in one international event, the 1933 European Greco-Roman Championships, in which he placed fourth. He had already won five Estonian titles in freestyle and four in Greco-Roman by the time of the 1936 Olympics. In Berlin he made history by winning the heavyweight class in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, the only time this has ever happened, making him the absolute champion wrestler of the year. In 1937 he won the European title in Greco-Roman before retiring in 1938 due to a shoulder injury. In 1991 Palusalu was voted the greatest Estonian athlete of all-time.
|AC||Alberts Zvejnieks||33||Latvia||LAT||Eliminated r3/5||6|
|AC||Josef Klapuch||30||Czechoslovakia||TCH||Eliminated r3/5||6|
|AC||Eduard Schöll||32||Austria||AUT||Eliminated r2/5||6|
|AC||Peter Larsen||32||Denmark||DEN||Eliminated r2/5||6|
|AC||Zoltan Kondorossy||30||Romania||ROU||Eliminated r2/5||6|
|AC||Stevan Nađ||33||Yugoslavia||YUG||Eliminated r2/5||6|