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Wrestling at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Berlin, Germany
Venue(s): Germany Hall, Berlin
Date Started: August 2, 1936
Date Finished: August 4, 1936
Format: Elimination by bad points. Win by fall = 0 points; win by decision = 1 point; loss by 2-1 decision = 2 points; loss by 3-0 decision = 3 points; loss by fall = 3 points. Three judges gave decisions, thus all decisions were either 2-1 or 3-0. Five bad points eliminated a wrestler.

Gold: HUN Károly Kárpáti
Silver: GER Wolfgang Ehrl
Bronze: FIN Hermanni Pihlajamäki


The two favorites were Hungarian [Károly Kárpáti] and Finland's [Hermanni Pihlajamäki]. Kárpáti had won the 1935 European Championship, with Pihlajamäki second, but Pihlajamäki had been Olympic Champion in 1932 as a featherweight. In the fourth round, Kárpáti defeated Pihlajamäki by a fall at 9:20. They both advanced to round five, where Kárpáti won a close decision (2-1) over German [Wolfgang Ehrl], which gave the Hungarian the gold medal. Ehrl then won the silver medal by defeating Pihlajamäki by fall in the final match.

David Wallechinsky in The Complete Book of the Olympics describes Kárpáti's travails because of his Jewish faith. He was born Klein but changed his name to Kárpáti to hide his religious ethnicity. Captured by the Germans, his fame prevented him initially from being sent to a concentration camp until 1943. But once there he resisted the Germans, even throwing a German officer off a bridge at the camp in Poland. After further resistance he was badly beaten. After the war, Kárpáti changed his name back to Klein and became a well-known wrestling coach.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Károly Kárpáti 30 Hungary HUN Gold
2 Wolfgang Ehrl 24 Germany GER Silver
3 Hermanni Pihlajamäki 32 Finland FIN Bronze
4 Charles Delporte 22 France FRA
5 Eiichi Kazama 20 Japan JPN
6 Doc Strong 19 United States USA
AC Adalbert Toots 26 Estonia EST Eliminated r4/6 7
AC Paride Romagnoli 27 Italy ITA Eliminated r4/6 7
AC Howie Thomas 31 Canada CAN Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Göte Melin 26 Sweden SWE Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Sadık Soğancı 25 Turkey TUR Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Aage Meyer 31 Denmark DEN Withdrew r3/6 3
AC Dick Garrard 26 Australia AUS Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Jean Lalemand 23 Belgium BEL Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Arthur Thompson 24 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Gottfried Arn 23 Switzerland SUI Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Václav Brdek 22 Czechoslovakia TCH Eliminated r2/6 6