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Wrestling at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Maurice Richard Arena, Montréal, Québec; Pierre Charbonneau Centre, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 27, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 6 negative points eliminated the wrestler, but a wrestler could not be eliminated after a victory. When three or fewer wrestlers remained, they advanced to a final round, with preliminary results carried forward.

Gold: URS Ivan Yarygin
Silver: USA Russ Hellickson
Bronze: BUL Dimo Kostov
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The defending champion and favorite was Soviet Ivan Yarygin, who had won the World title in 1973 and the Europeans in 1972, 1975, and 1976. He was expected to be challenged by American Russ Hellickson, who had been a medal favorite as a light-heavyweight in 1972. However, Hellickson had lost in the 1972 Olympic Trials to [Ben Petersen], who went on to win the light-heavyweight gold medal in München. Hellickson continued to compete as a light-heavy but could not beat dominant Soviet Georgian Levan Tediashvili, so Hellickson elected to move up to heavyweight, which was a more natural weight for him. In round five Yarygin and Hellickson met with Yarygin winning a hard-fought match, 19-13, to defend his gold medal. Hellickson then defeated Bulgarian Dimo Kostov to take the silver medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Ivan Yarygin 27 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Russ Hellickson 28 United States USA Silver
3 Dimo Kostov 29 Bulgaria BUL Bronze
4 Petr Drozda 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
5 Khorloogiin Bayanmönkh 32 Mongolia MGL
6 Kazuo Shimizu 21 Japan JPN
7 Hans-Peter Stratz 26 West Germany FRG
8 Daniel Verník 28 Argentina ARG
AC Reza Sokhtesaraie 26 Iran IRI Eliminated r3/6 8,0
AC Steve Daniar 21 Canada CAN Eliminated r3/6 8,5
AC Harald Büttner 23 East Germany GDR Eliminated r2/6 6,5
AC Enache Panait 26 Romania ROU Eliminated r2/6 7,0
AC Keith Peache 28 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r2/6 7,5
AC Robert N'Diaye 34 Senegal SEN Eliminated r2/6 8,0
AC Tore Hem 31 Norway NOR Withdrew r2/6 4,0