Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Pierre Charbonneau Centre, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 20, 1976
Date Finished: July 24, 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.
[Nikolay Balboshin] of the Soviet Union came in as the overwhelming favorite. He had won the World Championships in 1973-74 and he European title in 1973 and 1975-76. His expected victory in Montréal was one of the most dominant in Olympic history, winning four matches by falls and one by disqualification. The competition really came down to who would win the silver medal, which went to Bulgaria’s [Kamen Goranov] over Poland’s [Andrzej Skrzydlewski], who won bronze. This was based on Goranov defeating Skrzydlewski by decision in the final round, 6-2. Fourth-place unusually went to an American, with [Brad Rheingans] posting the best ever US finish in Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling, until the 1984 Olympics.
Balboshin would continue to dominate this class over the next few years. He won three more World Championships (1977-79) and five consecutive European titles (1975-79), and went to Moskva in 1980 expected to defend his gold medal. In Moskva, however, he was injured and at far less than his best and was withdrew after two rounds.
|1||Nikolay Balboshin||27||Soviet Union||URS||Gold|
|4||Brad Rheingans||22||United States||USA|
|6||Heinz Schäfer||26||West Germany||FRG|
|AC||Daniel Verník||28||Argentina||ARG||Eliminated r3/5||8,0|
|AC||Fredi Albrecht||29||East Germany||GDR||Eliminated r3/5||8,0|
|AC||Bahram Moshtaghi||24||Iran||IRI||Eliminated r2/5||8,0|
|AC||Yasunari Akiyama||28||Japan||JPN||Eliminated r2/5||8,0|
|AC||Robert N'Diaye||34||Senegal||SEN||Eliminated r2/5||8,0|