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Wrestling at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight, Freestyle

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Host City: Melbourne, Australia
Venue(s): Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, Victoria
Date Started: November 28, 1956
Date Finished: December 1, 1956
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: IRI Emam Ali Habibi
Silver: JPN Shigeru Kasahara
Bronze: URS Alimbeg Bestayev


Iran’s [Emam Ali Habibi] came to Melbourne with no international credentials, but this would be the start of a legendary career. He won five matches to advance to a final round showdown with Soviet [Alimbeg Bestayev], with Bestayev leading on bad points coming into the bout, 2-4, but Habibi won by fall in only 2:00 to win the gold medal. He would later win gold medals at the 1959, 1961, and 1962 World Championships, as a welterweight. He also won gold at the 1958 Asian Games in the lightweight class. Habibi would return to the Olympics in 1960 but was upset there by American [Doug Blubaugh], who went on to win the gold medal.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsRound FiveRound FourRound ThreeRound TwoRound OneFinal Round

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Emam Ali Habibi 25 Iran IRI Gold
2 Shigeru Kasahara 23 Japan JPN Silver
3 Alimbeg Bestayev 20 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4 Gyula Tóth 29 Hungary HUN
5T Garibaldo Nizzola 28 Italy ITA
5T Tommy Evans 25 United States USA
AC Muhammad Ashraf 29 Pakistan PAK Eliminated r4/6 6
AC Mario Tovar 23 Mexico MEX Eliminated r4/6 7
AC Adil Güngör Turkey TUR Withdrew r4/6 4
AC Georgi Zaychev Bulgaria BUL Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Roger Bielle 28 France FRA Eliminated r3/6 6
AC Juan Rolón 26 Argentina ARG Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Jack Taylor 24 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r3/6 7
AC Väinö Hakkarainen 24 Finland FIN Withdrew r3/6 4
AC Olle Anderberg 37 Sweden SWE Withdrew r3/6 4
AC David Schumacher 24 Australia AUS Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Lakhshmi Kant Pandey India IND Eliminated r2/6 6
AC O Tae-Geun 28 South Korea KOR Eliminated r2/6 6
AC Mateo Tanaquin 29 Philippines PHI Eliminated r2/6 6