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:|| Rıza Kayaalp
Mijaín López of Cuba was the undisputed favorite in the men’s super-heavyweight Greco-Roman event at the 2012 Summer Olympics; as the defending Olympic champion and four-time World Champion, no one else came close. Since 2005 his only defeats at the World Championships had come from Khasan Baroyev of Russia, the 2004 Olympic Champion and the 2008 runner-up, and Rıza Kayaalp of Turkey, who was now the reigning World Champion. They were both in London, but were only two among a host of other strong entrants who were seen as unlikely to challenge López for the crown.
López powered through the tournament, which included defeating Kayaalp in the semifinals. Baroyev, meanwhile, was conquered in his first match and, when the dust of the tournament had settled, Heiki Nabi of Estonia stood to challenge López for gold. Nabi had been a heavyweight wrestler throughout his career, winning the 2006 World Championship in the division, but had switched to the super-heavyweight category to compete in his first Olympics. In the end, however, it was López’s experience and raw power that won the day, making the most of his top advantage in the first-round par terre and successfully defending against both a gut-wrench and a challenge to his Olympic title in the second.
In the first bronze medal match, Kayaalp easily defeated Guram Pherselidze of Georgia, pushing him out of the ring in two rounds and claiming a podium spot. In the contest for the other bronze medal, Belarus’ Iosif Chugoshvili and Sweden’s Johan Eurén, a bronze medalist from the 2010 European Championships, were evenly matched. The first two rounds went to par terre, where each wrestler was successful in their defense, which left the final podium spot up to a final, decisive two minutes. With neither competitor able to score in the first 90 seconds, and with points and cautions tied, a ball was drawn to determine who would choose the positions in the final par terre. Chugoshvili won and picked the top position, but was unable to convert this advantage into any points, giving Eurén the bronze.
|10||Dremiel Byers||37||United States||USA|