Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 11, 2012
Date Finished: August 11, 2012
Format: Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.
|Bronze:|| Dato Marsagishvili
Ehsan Naser Lashgari
Şərif Şərifov of Azerbaijan was the reigning World Champion in the men’s light-heavyweight freestyle wrestling division and a favorite to win gold in the tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics. His supremacy was not unchallenged, however, and he would meet stiff competition with the likes of Dato Marsagishvili of Georgia, the reigning European Champion, and Ehsan Naser Lashgari of Iran, reigning and three-time Asian Champion. Şərifov and Lashgari were drawn in the same half and met in the semifinals, where the Azerbaijani managed to edge out the Iranian in three rounds for a chance at the gold. In a comparatively weaker top bracket, Marsagishvili was thought to be a cinch to survive to the finals, but was defeated in the quarterfinals by Jaime Espinal of Puerto Rico. Espinal was the most recent Central American and Caribbean Games Champion and won one round against each of his opponents by at least six points in his successful journey to the gold medal match. In the final, however, Şərifov was unquestionably the dominant wrestler, winning the rounds 6-1 and 2-0 to give Azerbaijan its second gold medal of the competition – and the day – following Toğrul Əsgərov’s victory in the lightweight division.
In the first bronze medal bout, Marsagishvili faced rookie Soslan Gattsiyev of Belarus and was heavily favored to win. The Georgian asserted his dominance with a quick takedown in the first ten seconds of the starting period that he was able to convert into a total of three points to capture the round. He was victorious in the second period by only a slightly less margin, 3-1, and easily won the bronze. For the final podium spot, Lashgari battled İbrahim Bölükbaşı of Turkey, the 2010 Mediterranean Champion, and was favored for the medal. The Iranian outscored the Turk 3-2 in an aggressive first round, but Bölükbaşı lost steam in the second period and was unable to answer the three points Lashgari scored on him to claim the bronze.
|2||Jaime Espinal||27||Puerto Rico||PUR||Silver|
|3T||Ehsan Naser Lashgari||26||Iran||IRI||Bronze|
|7||Jake Herbert||27||United States||USA|
|16||Mohamed Riad Louafi||24||Algeria||ALG|