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Wrestling at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 28, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
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.

Gold: IRI Emam Ali Habibi
Silver: JPN Shigeru Kasahara
Bronze: URS Alimbeg Bestayev
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Iran’s Emam Ali Habibi came to Melbourne with no international credentials, but this would be the start of a legendary career. He won five matches to advance to a final round showdown with Soviet Alimbeg Bestayev, with Bestayev leading on bad points coming into the bout, 2-4, but Ali Habibi won by fall in only 2:00 to win the gold medal. He would later win gold medals at the 1959, 1961, and 1962 World Championships, as a welterweight. He also won gold at the 1958 Asian Games in the lightweight class. Habibi would return to the Olympics in 1960 but was upset there by American Doug Blubaugh, who went on to win the gold medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Emam Ali Habibi 25 Iran IRI Gold
2 Shigeru Kasahara 23 Japan JPN Silver
3 Alimbeg Bestayev 20 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Gyula Tóth 29 Hungary HUN
5T Garibaldo Nizzola 28 Italy ITA
5T Tommy Evans 25 United States USA
AC Muhammad Ashraf 29 Pakistan PAK Eliminated r4/6 6
AC Mario Tovar 23 Mexico MEX Eliminated r4/6 7
AC Adil Güngör Turkey TUR Withdrew r4/6 4
AC Georgi Zaychev Bulgaria BUL Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Roger Bielle 28 France FRA Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Juan Rolón 26 Argentina ARG Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Jack Taylor 24 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Väinö Hakkarainen 24 Finland FIN Withdrew r3/6 4
AC Olle Anderberg 37 Sweden SWE Withdrew r3/6 4
AC David Schumacher 24 Australia AUS Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Lakhshmi Kant Pandey India IND Eliminated r2/6 6
AC O Tae-Geun 28 South Korea KOR Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Mateo Tanaquin 29 Philippines PHI Eliminated r2/6 6