Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 6, 2012
Date Finished: August 6, 2012
Format: Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.
|Bronze:|| Zaur Kuramagomedov
None of the medalists from the 2008 Summer Olympic men’s lightweight Greco-Roman wrestling tournament returned to defend their titles in London, but Jeong Ji-Hyeon of South Korea, the 2004 gold medalist, did, although he was not expected to mount a serious challenge for the crown. That distinction went to Iran’s Omid Noroozi, the reigning World Champion, and Azerbaijan’s Həsən Əliyev, the 2010 World Champion, both of whom entered as the favorites in the competition. There were several strong competitors able to challenge for the bronze medals, but most observers foresaw Norouzi and Aliyev battling in the final, as they had ended up in opposite halves of the draw.
Norouzi struggled slightly with China’s Sheng Jiang in the opening round, but moved on and quickly asserted his dominance on his way to the final. Əliyev survived to the semifinals, defeating Jeong along the way, but was eliminated at this stage by Revaz Lashkhi of Georgia, the 2011 European Champion. In the final, Norouzi was the better wrestler in each round, successfully defending the first par terre and then controlling the second round to score a single point that earned him the gold medal. It was Iran’s second Olympic title in Greco-Roman wrestling, the first having come only one day earlier with [Hamid Soryan’s] victory in the featherweight division.
In the first bronze medal match Əliyev was unable to defend against an onslaught from Zaur Kuramagomedov of Russia, a 2011 World Championship bronze medalist. Converting two rounds of par terre wrestling into points, Kuramagomedov was able to keep the former World Champion Azerbaijani off the podium. The contest for the second bronze medal was fought between Almat Kebispayev of Kazakhstan, runner-up at the 2011 World Championships and bronze medalist at the 2010 edition, and Ryutaro Matsumoto of Japan, silver medalist at the 2010 World Championships. The two were evenly matched and ferocious, each winning a round, before Matsumoto was able to get the best of his opponent and pin him, winning the bronze medal with the only fall of the event.
|8||Jeong Ji-Hyeon||29||South Korea||KOR|
|12||Luis Ygnacio Liendo||31||Venezuela||VEN|
|13||Stig André Berge||29||Norway||NOR|
|14||Ellis Coleman||20||United States||USA|
|15||Tarek Aziz Benaissa||21||Algeria||ALG|