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Wrestling at the 1972 München Summer Games:

Men's Lightweight, Freestyle

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Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): Wrestling-Judo Hall, Exhibition Lands (Hall 14), München
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: August 31, 1972
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 6 negative points eliminated the wrestler. When three or fewer wrestlers remained, they advanced to a final round, with preliminary results carried forward.

Gold: USA Dan Gable
Silver: JPN Kikuo Wada
Bronze: URS Ruslan Ashuraliyev


Iran’s [Abdullah Movahed] had won five World Championships from 1965-70 but he was not favored in München. That role fell to the 1971 World Champion, [Dan Gable], considered by many the greatest wrestler America had ever produced. Gable had been undefeated in high school and college, until his final match in his senior year of college, when he was defeated in the NCAA final by Larry Owings. No such fate befell him in München as he won three of his first five bouts by falls, and won two decisions by shutouts. Nobody scored a point off him as he dominated the class to win the gold medal. In the final round he decisioned Soviet [Ruslan Ashuraliyev] to win the gold medal, having beaten the other finalist, Japan’s [Kikuo Wada] by decision in round four. Wada won the silver with Ashuraliyev taking bronze. Movahed was injured and withdrew after the second round.

Gable retired after the 1972 Olympics, although he made a limited comeback in 1976 trying to make another Olympic team, but he wrestled only a few matches. He later became the greatest wrestling coach in the US, leading his University of Iowa team to 15 NCAA team championships. Ashuraliyev moved up to welterweight and was the World Champion in that class in 1974 and 1975 and European Champion in 1974. Wada had no other major international podium finishes.

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Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE BP
1 Dan Gable 23 United States USA Gold
2 Kikuo Wada 21 Japan JPN Silver
3 Ruslan Ashuraliyev 22 Soviet Union URS Bronze
4T Tsedendambyn Natsagdorj 28 Mongolia MGL
4T Ali Şahin 28 Turkey TUR
6 Udo Schröder 22 East Germany GDR
7 Włodzimierz Cieślak 22 Poland POL
AC Petre Poalelungi 31 Romania ROU Eliminated r4/6 6,0
AC József Rusznyák 25 Hungary HUN Eliminated r4/6 7,0
AC Ismail Yuseinov 24 Bulgaria BUL Eliminated r4/6 8,0
AC Georges Carbasse 27 France FRA Eliminated r4/6 8,0
AC Stefanos Ioannidis 39 Greece GRE Eliminated r4/6 8,0
AC Klaus Rost 32 West Germany FRG Eliminated r3/6 7,0
AC Josef Engel 30 Czechoslovakia TCH Eliminated r3/6 7,0
AC Eliezer Halfin 24 Israel ISR Eliminated r3/6 8,0
AC Ronald Ouellet 25 Canada CAN Eliminated r3/6 9,0
AC Eduardo Quintero 21 Cuba CUB Eliminated r3/6 9,0
AC Joe Gilligan 17 Great Britain GBR Eliminated r3/6 9,0
AC Jagrup Singh 29 India IND Eliminated r2/6 6,0
AC André Chardonnens 27 Switzerland SUI Eliminated r2/6 6,5
AC Gabriel Ruz 21 Mexico MEX Eliminated r2/6 7,0
AC Segundo Olmedo 24 Panama PAN Eliminated r2/6 7,0
AC Safer Sali 26 Yugoslavia YUG Eliminated r2/6 7,0
AC Arona Mané Senegal SEN Eliminated r2/6 8,0
AC Abdullah Movahed 32 Iran IRI Withdrew r2/6 0,5