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Wrestling at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Women's Flyweight, Freestyle

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Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 8, 2012
Date Finished: August 8, 2012
Format: Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.

Gold: JPN Hitomi Obara
Silver: AZE Mariya Stadnik
Bronze: CAN Carol Huynh
USA Clarissa Chun


Women’s flyweight freestyle wrestling had been an event at the Olympic Games since 2004 and, although both former Olympic Champions were vying for the crown once more, neither were considered favorites in the tournament. [Iryna Merleni-Mykulchyn] of Ukraine, the 2004 champion and a bronze medalist in 2008, was also three-time World Champion (2000, 2001, 2003) and two-time runner-up (2005 and 2007), but had not been active on the international scene since the Beijing Olympics. [Carol Huynh] of Canada, the defending Olympic Champion, had been Commonwealth Games Champion (2010) and twice Pan-American Games Champion (2007 and 2011) but never World Champion. The true favorite was [Hitomi Obara] of Japan, a six-time World Champion in the non-Olympic 51 kg class (2000, 2001, 2005-2008) who had switched to the flyweight in 2010 and captured the last two World Championships in the division. The field was rounded out with two other former World Champions, [Clarissa Chun] of the United States (2008) and [Mariya Stadnik] of Azerbaijan (2009), ensuring that no medal in the event would go unchallenged.

Huynh was drawn in the same half as Obara, to whom she lost in the semi-finals as the Japanese competitor charged for gold. The rest duked it out in the bottom half, where Stadnik defeated Chun in the 1/8 finals and Merlini in the semi-finals, earning the right to challenge Obara’s supremacy. In an aggressive first period of the final match, Stadnik became the first competitor in the event to get the best of Obara, winning the round 4-0. Obara, however, was unflappable and converted her loss into a passion for victory, which brought 1-0 and 2-0 wins over the next two periods and an Olympic crown to add her laurels.

In the first bronze medal match, Huynh met [Isabelle Sambou] of Senegal, vying to capture her country’s second Olympic medal ever. Sambou put up a valiant effort against the far more experienced Huynh, forcing the Olympic Champion to par terre in both periods, but she had the misfortune of drawing the disadvantaged position in both rounds and was defeated by the Canadian, who won her second Olympic medal. Chun and Merleni, meanwhile, battled for the final podium spot in a relatively more interesting match. In the first period, Chun took down her opponent at the buzzer, scoring the round-winning point, before throwing the Ukrainian to the mat for a decisive, three-point victory in the second that earned her the second bronze medal.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Hitomi Obara 31 Japan JPN Gold
2 Mariya Stadnik 24 Azerbaijan AZE Silver
3T Carol Huynh 31 Canada CAN Bronze
3T Clarissa Chun 30 United States USA Bronze
5T Iryna Merleni-Mykulchyn 30 Ukraine UKR
5T Isabelle Sambou 31 Senegal SEN
7 Iwona Matkowska 30 Poland POL
8 Vanessa Kolodinskaya 19 Belarus BLR
9 Davaasukhiin Otgontsetseg 21 Mongolia MGL
10 Nguyễn Thị Lụa 21 Vietnam VIE
11T Carolina Castillo 21 Colombia COL
11T Alexandra Engelhardt 29 Germany GER
13 Kim Hyeong-Ju 27 South Korea KOR
14 Maroi Mezien 23 Tunisia TUN
15 Zhuldyz Eshimova 24 Kazakhstan KAZ
16 Mayelis Caripa 31 Venezuela VEN
17 Patricia Bermúdez 25 Argentina ARG
18 Zhao Shasha 22 China CHN
19 Rosalie Bénié Tano 18 Cote d'Ivoire CIV