Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Basketball Hall, Siegenburger Street, München
Date Started: August 31, 1972
Date Finished: August 31, 1972
Format: Two single-elimination pools, with winner of each pool advanced to the semi-finals. All judoka losing to the finalists in each pool advanced to repêchage pools. Winners of each repêchage pool advanced to the semi-finals.
|Bronze:|| Motoki Nishimura
This was the first class contested at the 1972 Olympics. It was considered a certainty that Wim Ruska (NED) would win the gold medal. He was unchallenged in winning the 1967 and 1971 World Championships, and earlier in 1972 had won both the heavyweight and open classes at the European Championships. Contenders for the other medals were thought to be Japan’s Motoki Nishimura, Givi Onashvili, a Georgian Soviet, and world bronze medalist Keith Remfrey of Great Britain. After the pools and the repêchages, all but Remfrey made it to the semi-finals. Germany’s Klaus Glahn faced Onashvili in the first semi, and defeating him with kesa-gatame in two minutes. Glahn had lost to Ruska in the pools, but Ruska had to fake a foot injury to get some rest during that match. Ruska faced Nishimura in the other semi-final, and the Japanese judoka lasted the entire eight minutes, but Ruska was awarded the decision. Despite the hometown crowd, few gave Glahn a chance in the final, and Ruska dominated, winning with harai-goshi for ippon in 1:43.
|2||Klaus Glahn||30||West Germany||FRG||Silver|
|3T||Givi Onashvili||25||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze|
|7T||Tijini Ben Kassou||21||Morocco||MAR|
|9T||Klaus Hennig||28||East Germany||GDR|
|9T||Larry Nelson||24||United States||USA|
|16T||Keith Remfry||24||Great Britain||GBR|