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:|| Bilyal Makhov
Since his first appearance at the Olympic Games in 2000, Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan had reached the finals of the men’s super-heavyweight freestyle wrestling tournament every time and had lost only once, in his first attempt. He was also a two time World Champion (2003 and 2006) and runner-up (2001 and 2010), twice Asian Champion (2000 and 2011), and three-time Asian Games gold medalist (2002, 2006, and 2010). Nonetheless he was expected to have some significant challengers at the 2012 Summer Olympics, most notably Bilyal Makhov of Russia, a three-time (2007, 2009, 2010) World Champion and 2010 European Champion. Makhov lost his world title in 2011 to Aleksey Shemarov of Belarus, however, who would also be looking to challenge Taymazov in the final. Not to be counted out was Taha Akgül of Turkey, the reigning European Champion.
Taymazov was drawn into a relatively easy half that included Shemarov, who was defeated by Tervel Dlagnev of the United States, the 2011 Pan American Champion. Taymazov pinned Dlagnev in the semifinals and went on to meet Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia in the gold medal match. Modzmanashvili was a bronze medalist at the most recent World and European Championships who had returned from a doping violation in 2008 and defeated Makhov in the semifinals of the London tournament. In the final, Taymazov proved himself once again to be worthy of Olympic Gold, winning the first round par terre by successfully reversing Modzmanashvili’s advantage and pushing the Georgian out of the ring in the second period for an unanswered point that earned him the Olympic crown.
The first bronze medal match pitted Dlagnev against Komeil Ghasemi of Iran, runner up to Taymazov at the most recent Asian Championships. Ghasemi wasted no time in the first period, winning it within the first twenty seconds by scoring four points that would remain unanswered. The second period went to par terre, where the American drew the advantage and converted it into a point, but the Iranian was able to push his opponent out of the ring in the final ten seconds of the last round to earn the bronze. The final podium spot was decided between Makhov and Daulet Shabanbay of Kazakhstan, who had won his first his first major international medal at the age of 14 in the heavyweight division of the 2008 Asian Championships and repeated the feat in 2009 and 2011 before moving up to the super-heavyweight class. Makhov’s experience was on display in the first period, scoring five unanswered points, but Shabanbay responded in the second round with a three point shutout of his own. In the final period, the three-time World Champion was simply the better wrestler, and won the medal with a 3-0 score.
|5T||Tervel Dlagnev||26||United States||USA|