Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Basketball Hall, Siegenburger Street, München
Date Started: September 9, 1972
Date Finished: September 9, 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:|| Jean-Claude Brondani
Wim Ruska had already won the heavyweight class, and his second victory was considered a foregone conclusion. He was twice World Champion, had won the European title seven times, and was a 10-time champion of the Netherlands. But in Pool B, Ruska was thrown by the Russian Soviet, Vitaly Kuznetsov, who used te-guruma. When Kuznetsov won the pool, it allowed Ruska to continue in the repêchage, where he faced Klaus Glahn for the third time at the 1972 Olympics, and he came through to the semi-final, which he won to again face Kuznetsov in the final. To prevent Kuznetsov from using his wrestling moves, his plan was to take him to the ground. He did that at three minutes, and used yoko-shiho-gatame to win his second gold medal. Ruska retired after the München Olympics. He was striking with his light blonde hair, and very muscular. He followed Anton Geesink in going to Japan to wrestle professionally, where he was quite popular.
|2||Vitaly Kuznetsov||31||Soviet Union||URS||Silver|
|3T||Angelo Parisi||19||Great Britain||GBR||Bronze|
|5T||Klaus Glahn||30||West Germany||FRG|
|7T||Tijini Ben Kassou||21||Morocco||MAR|
|11T||Johnny Watts||28||United States||USA|
|19T||Klaus Hennig||28||East Germany||GDR|
|19T||Juang Jen-Wuh||21||Chinese Taipei||TPE|