Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Ano Liosia Olympic Hall, Ano Liossia
Date Started: August 27, 2004
Date Finished: August 28, 2004
Format: Round-robin pools, winner of each pool advanced to single-elimination tournament.
Russia had two good options for this class, with the defending gold medalist, Adam Saytiyev, and the 2003 World Champion, Sazhid Sazhidov. They chose Sazhidov, who had won his 2003 title by defeating American Cael Sanderson in the final. Sanderson was the most heralded American folkstyle wrestler since Dan Gable, having gone undefeated throughout high school and college in the United States, winning four NCAA Championships, and finishing his college career with a 159-0 record. Sanderson was not as successful in freestyle, having lost to various other international wrestlers in the past few years, including Cuban Yoel Romero at the 2003 Pan American Games, and he had failed to make the 2000 Olympic team. Sanderson got through his pool and then in the semi-finals avenged his loss to Romero, winning 3-2 to advance to the final. Sazhidov seemed on his way as well, but he lost in the semi-final to Korean Mun Ui-Je, who had been a silver medalist at Sydney and a two-time silver medalist at the World Championships. Mun went ahead early in the final, but Sanderson came back and won the gold medal, 3-1. Sanderson then retired and started coaching, althought he briefly returned to competition in 2011.
|1||Cael Sanderson||25||United States||USA||Gold|
|2||Mun Ui-Je||29||South Korea||KOR||Silver|