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Wrestling at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Super-Heavyweight, Freestyle

Wrestling at the 1988 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Sangmu Gynmasium, Seongnam
Date Started: September 29, 1988
Date Finished: October 1, 1988
Format: Two groups (A and B). Double elimination tournament within each group. Top four in each group advance to placement matches for 1st-8th place.

Gold: URS Davit Gobejishvili
Silver: USA Bruce Baumgartner
Bronze: GDR Andreas Schröder


This class was different than in past Olympics as there was a maximum weight limit for the first time, with wrestlers required to no more than 130 kg, or 286 lbs. This was to prevent the massive men who had taken over this class since American [Chris Taylor] in 1972, who weighed in at over 400 lbs. (182 kg).

The two greatest heavyweights in the 1980s and early 90s were American [Bruce Baumgartner] and Soviet Georgian [Davit Gobejishvili]. With Gobejishvili boycotted out of the 1984 Olympics, Baumgartner had an easier time winning gold. Gobejishvili had won the 1985 Worlds, while Baumgartner pushed him back to silver in 1986. Gobejishvili briefly lost his first spot as Soviet super-heavyweight to [Aslan Khadartsev], the 1987 World and 1988-89 European Champion. At the 1988 World Cup Gobejishvili met Baumgartner and defeated him, which caused Soviet wrestling officials to have Khadartsev and Gobejishvili meet in a no time-limit match, which Gobejishvili won in 30 minutes to qualify for the 1988 Olympics.

In Seoul Baumgartner won four matches to win Group A, while Gobejishvili needed five matches in Group B. The final was close but Gobejishvili controlled it throughout, leading 3-0 until Baumgartner scored a late point, losing 3-1. The two would continue to dominate this class through the 1992 Olympics, where Baumgartner came back to win a second gold medal, with Gobejishvili taking bronze. Baumgartner also won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal RE CP
1 Davit Gobejishvili 25 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 Bruce Baumgartner 27 United States USA Silver
3 Andreas Schröder 28 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 László Klauz 26 Hungary HUN
5 Atanas Atanasov 25 Bulgaria BUL
6 Daniel Payne 22 Canada CAN
7 Adam Sandurski 35 Poland POL
8 Ralf Bremmer 27 West Germany FRG
AC Navind Ramsaran 27 Mauritius MRI Eliminated r3/4 Group A 4,0
AC Ham Deog-Won 27 South Korea KOR Eliminated r3/4 Group A 3,0
AC Jesús Montesdeoca 21 Spain ESP Eliminated r2/4 Group A 1,0
AC Hassan El-Haddad 31 Egypt EGY Withdrew r2/4 Group A 0,0
AC Dennis Atiyeh 24 Syria SYR Eliminated r3/5 Group B 4,0
AC Hiroyuki Obata 19 Japan JPN Eliminated r3/5 Group B 3,0
AC Miroslav Luberda 24 Czechoslovakia TCH Eliminated r2/5 Group B 0,0