Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Ano Liosia Olympic Hall, Ano Liossia
Date Started: August 27, 2004
Date Finished: August 28, 2004
Format: Round-robin pools, winner of each pool advanced to single-elimination tournament.
Russia had two good options for this class, with the defending gold medalist, [Adam Saytiyev], and the 2003 World Champion, [Sazhid Sazhidov]. They chose Sazhidov, who had won his 2003 title by defeating American [Cael Sanderson] in the final. Sanderson was the most heralded American folkstyle wrestler since [Dan Gable], having gone undefeated throughout high school and college in the United States, winning four NCAA Championships, and finishing his college career with a 159-0 record. Sanderson was not as successful in freestyle, having lost to various other international wrestlers in the past few years, including Cuban [Yoel Romero] at the 2003 Pan American Games, and he had failed to make the 2000 Olympic team. Sanderson got through his pool and then in the semi-finals avenged his loss to Romero, winning 3-2 to advance to the final. Sazhidov seemed on his way as well, but he lost in the semi-final to Korean [Mun Ui-Je], who had been a silver medalist at Sydney and a two-time silver medalist at the World Championships. Mun went ahead early in the final, but Sanderson came back and won the gold medal, 3-1. Sanderson then retired and started coaching, althought he briefly returned to competition in 2011.
|1||Cael Sanderson||25||United States||USA||Gold|
|2||Mun Ui-Je||29||South Korea||KOR||Silver|