Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Athletics Fieldhouse, CSKA Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 27, 1980
Date Finished: July 29, 1980
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.
The event was missing [Robert Weaver], American silver medalist at the 1979 World Championships, but the favorite, in any event, was Soviet Sergey Kornilayev, World Champion in 1978-79, who would also win that title again in 1981-82. He seemed well on his way to the gold medal, reaching the final round with only 1.0 bad points, where he was joined by Italy’s Claudio Pollio, and North Korean Jang Se-Hong. Pollio had already defeated Jang in round four, but he lost the first match of the final to Kornilayev. Then in the final match of the event Jang stunningly threw Kornilayev in 7:23, which gave the gold medal to Pollio in a major upset. He had competed at the 1976 Olympics, without placing, and his best finish at a major international had been fourth at the 1980 Europeans. Through 2012 Italian wrestlers have won several Olympic golds, but Pollio’s is the only one in freestyle.
|2||Jang Se-Hong||26||North Korea||PRK||Silver|
|3||Sergey Kornilayev||25||Soviet Union||URS||Bronze|
|AC||Mohammad Aktar||17||Afghanistan||AFG||Eliminated r3/6||8,0|
|AC||Jorge Frias||24||Mexico||MEX||Eliminated r3/6||8,0|
|AC||Gombyn Khishigbaatar||26||Mongolia||MGL||Eliminated r2/6||7,0|
|AC||Mohammed Qassim Jabbar||Iraq||IRQ||Eliminated r2/6||8,0|
|AC||Khaled El-Ali El-Rifai||24||Syria||SYR||Eliminated r2/6||8,0|
|AC||Nguyễn Văn Công||20||Vietnam||VIE||Eliminated r2/6||8,0|