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Wrestling at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman

Wrestling at the 1996 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 21, 1996
Date Finished: July 22, 1996
Format: Single-elimination tournament with classification rounds for placements.

Gold: RUS Aleksandr Karelin
Silver: USA Matt Ghaffari
Bronze: MDA Sergei Mureico

Summary

The Russian bear, [Aleksandr Karelin], had not lost a match in nine years and had won the World Championships in 1989-91 and 1993-95, the European Championships from 1988-96, and was a two-time defending gold medalist. The only chink in his armor was that he had undergone shoulder surgery only a few months before the Atlanta Olympics. In the second round he was actually pushed to overtime by Moldovan [Sergei Mureico], but Karelin won 2-0. Karelin had only once before needed to go to overtime in an international and that had been against American [Matt Ghaffari] at the 1993 Worlds. Ghaffari met Karelin in the Atlanta final, with Karelin scoring one point at 1:51, and that was all there was, as neither could score again, Karelin winning his third consecutive gold, 1-0. Karelin would continue to dominate the class, but at Sydney in 2000 he lost in the final to American [Rulon Gardner], in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history in any sport.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal CP TP
1 Aleksandr Karelin 28 Russia RUS Gold
2 Matt Ghaffari 34 United States USA Silver
3 Sergei Mureico 26 Moldova MDA Bronze
4 Petro Kotok 31 Ukraine UKR
5 Panagiotis Poikilidis 31 Greece GRE
6 René Schiekel 29 Germany GER
7 Tomas Johansson 34 Sweden SWE
8 Kenichi Suzuki 27 Japan JPN
9 Raul Dgvareli 31 Tajikistan TJK 6 6
10 Shermukhammad Kuziyev 25 Uzbekistan UZB 5 8
11 Omrane Ayari 24 Tunisia TUN 4 7
12 György Kékes 30 Hungary HUN 3 3
13 Yogi Johl 26 Canada CAN 3 3
14 Juha Ahokas 26 Finland FIN 3 2
15 Helger Hallik 23 Estonia EST 3 0
16 Gheorghe Amariei 23 Romania ROU 2 2
17 Rashid Bel Aziz 28 Morocco MAR 1 2
18 Guillermo Díaz 31 Mexico MEX 1 2
19 Liu Guoke 24 China CHN 1 1