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Wrestling at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Men's Heavyweight, Greco-Roman

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 7, 2012
Date Finished: August 7, 2012
Format: Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.

Gold: IRI Ghasem Rezaei
Silver: RUS Rustam Totrov
Bronze: SWE Jimmy Lidberg
ARM Artur Aleksanyan


The reigning World Champion in men’s heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling, and a favorite for gold at the London Olympics, was [Elis Guri], who had first participated in the Olympics in 2008 as a competitor for his native Albania. Thereafter he was absent from major competitions for three years as he switched allegiances to Bulgaria and made his return by winning a bronze medal at the 2011 European Championships prior to his victory at the World Championships. He faced challenges from several wrestlers in his quest for Olympic glory, most notably [Jimmy Lidberg] of Sweden, who was twice runner-up (2009 and 2011) and once a bronze medalist (2010) at the World Championships.

Guri and Lidberg were drawn into the same half, setting up a potentially exciting semi-final match, but it was not to be: both wrestlers were eliminated in the quarterfinals. Guri was defeated by [Timofey Deynichenko] of Belarus, runner-up at the 2010 European and World Championships, while Lindberg was bested by 2011 World Championship bronze medalist [Rustam Totrov] of Russia. Totrov then conquered Deynichenko in the semifinals, eliminating any chance of Guri winning a medal. In the final the Russian met [Ghasem Rezaei] of Iran, a two-time Asian Champion (2007 and 2008) whose best finish at the World Championships was third in 2007.The first round went to par terre where, although Totrov almost managed to rise from the bottom position, he was taken down at the last moment by Rezaei and scored upon. The second period again went to par terre, despite the best efforts of the Russian, who was unable to convert his top advantage to a point, even with a fantastic push that tossed both competitors out of the ring simultaneously (and therefore scored no points). Thus Iran, which had begun the 2012 Olympics with zero Greco-Roman gold medals to its name, left the tournament with three, following earlier victories by [Hamid Soryan] and [Omid Noroozi] in the featherweight and lightweight categories respectively.

Lidberg and Deynichenko, meanwhile, met up in a bronze medal bout, where Deynichenko took an early lead by reversing the Swede’s advantage in the first par terre and scoring two points in the dying seconds of the period. Lidberg struck back in the next two rounds, however, starting with a successful defense in the second par terre that forced a third, decisive period. This round too went to par terre, but the Swede had fewer cautions and was therefore granted the top advantage, using it to score four points to Deynichenko’s one in the final twenty-two seconds of the match and clinch the bronze. The final podium spot was decided between [Yunior Estrada] of Cuba and [Artur Aleksanyan] of Armenia, the 2012 European Champion and 2011 runner-up. For many years, including an appearance at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Estrada was a light-heavyweight wrestler and had won bronze in this division at the 2007 Pan American Games. He had switched to heavyweight by 2010, however, and won gold at the 2011 Pan American Games. In the bronze medal bout, Aleksanyan was dominant: he converted his top advantage in the round one par terre to two points and then pushed Estrada out of the ring in the second period to claim victory.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Ghasem Rezaei 26 Iran IRI Gold
2 Rustam Totrov 28 Russia RUS Silver
3T Artur Aleksanyan 20 Armenia ARM Bronze
3T Jimmy Lidberg 30 Sweden SWE Bronze
5T Timofey Deynichenko 25 Belarus BLR
5T Yunior Estrada 25 Cuba CUB
7 Elis Guri 29 Bulgaria BUL
8 Ardo Arusaar 24 Estonia EST
9 Hassine Ayari 27 Tunisia TUN
10 Şalva Qadabadze 28 Azerbaijan AZE
11 Cenk Ä°ldem 26 Turkey TUR
12 David Vála 34 Czech Republic CZE
13T Mohamed Abd El-Fatah 34 Egypt EGY
13T Soso Jabidze 24 Georgia GEO
15 Choucri Atafi 30 Morocco MAR
16 Norikatsu Saikawa 26 Japan JPN
17 Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu 22 Romania ROU
18 Daigoro Timoncini 26 Italy ITA
19 Erwin Caraballo 31 Venezuela VEN