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Wrestling at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Wrestling-Judo Hall, Exhibition Lands (Hall 14), München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: August 31, 1972
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 6 negative points eliminated the wrestler. When three or fewer wrestlers remained, they advanced to a final round, with preliminary results carried forward.

Gold: USA Ben Peterson
Silver: URS Gennady Strakhov
Bronze: HUN Károly Bajkó

Summary

Ben Peterson was not supposed to make the 1972 US Olympic team, the spot in this class virtually conceded to Russ Hellickson, bronze medalist at the 1971 World Championships, but Peterson defeated Hellickson in the US Trials. Peterson’s brother, John, also made the 1972 Olympic wrestling team, and would win a silver medal in middleweight freestyle. Ben Peterson would do him one better, winning the gold medal in this class in his first international competition. In the final round he secured the gold by throwing Bulgarian World Champion Rusi Petrov in round six. After that round, the only other wrestler remaining was Soviet Gennady Strakhov. Strakhov and Peterson had wrestled to a draw in round three, but Peterson won the gold medal because he had more falls than Strakhov, 3-2.

In 1976 Ben Peterson won a silver medal in this class, losing to Soviet Georgian Levan “Teddy” Tediashvili. Tediashvili won gold in 1972 as a middleweight, defeating John Peterson in an early round, with John taking silver. Hellickson would also make the 1976 Olympics, winning a silver medal in the new heavyweight class.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Ben Peterson 22 United States USA Gold
2 Gennady Strakhov 27 Soviet Union URS Silver
3 Károly Bajkó 28 Hungary HUN Bronze
4 Rusi Petrov 28 Bulgaria BUL
5T Bárbaro Morgan 20 Cuba CUB
5T Reza Khorrami 26 Iran IRI
7 Günter Spindler 23 East Germany GDR
AC Mehmet Güçlü 20 Turkey TUR Eliminated r4/6 8,0
AC Michel Grangier 24 France FRA Eliminated r4/6 8,5
AC Paweł Kurczewski 22 Poland POL Eliminated r4/6 8,5
AC Ernst Knoll 32 West Germany FRG Eliminated r3/6 6,0
AC Raúl García 28 Mexico MEX Eliminated r3/6 7,5
AC Étienne Martinetti 32 Switzerland SUI Eliminated r3/6 7,5
AC Umberto Marcheggiani 29 Italy ITA Eliminated r3/6 8,5
AC Kwak Gwang-Ung 20 South Korea KOR Eliminated r3/6 9,0
AC George Saunders 23 Canada CAN Withdrew r3/6 3,0
AC Ron Grinstead 29 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r2/6 6,0
AC Ion Marton 26 Romania ROU Eliminated r2/6 6,0
AC Roland Andersson 27 Sweden SWE Eliminated r2/6 6,5
AC Makoto Kamada 21 Japan JPN Eliminated r2/6 7,0
AC Chandgi Ram 34 India IND Eliminated r2/6 8,0
AC Alioune Camara 28 Senegal SEN Eliminated r2/6 8,0
AC Jigjidiin Mönkhbat 31 Mongolia MGL Withdrew r2/6 3,0