Wrestling at the 1906 Intercalated Games

Dates 25 – 30 April 1906
Medal Events 4

Probably less has been written in English about the wrestling competition of the 1906 Olympic Games than any other sport. It is barely mentioned in the newspaper reports. But in the Greek press it was highly covered, as Mathys has noted, “Great interest was shown too in the Greco-Roman freestyle wrestling, not only by the mainly Greek public, but also by the contestants. The contests continued long after the light had begun to fade; neither the wrestlers, the judges nor the public wanted to see the matches stop. Only when a few lit matches to enable the spectators to see did the judge decide to postpone the finals till the next day.”

It was conducted under Greco-Roman rules. The competitions were held on the infield of the track in the Panathenaic Stadium. There were three main competitions conducted according to weight class: lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. At the end of the competition, the winners of the heavyweight and middleweight competitions, Søren Jensen and Verner Weckman, wrestled a match, won by Jensen, for the all-around title of the top wrestler at the 1906 Olympics.

It was difficult to choose favorites at this wrestling tournament, basically the first true international Olympic meet. World championships had only been conducted since 1904, with two different versions held in 1905. Søren Jensen and Verner Weckman had won both the heavyweight titles in 1905, at the two different meets. The lightweight Olympic champion in 1906, Rudolf Watzl, never competed at a world championship. Weckman would come back in 1908 to win the light-heavyweight Olympic championship at London.

Søren Jensen had first competed at the world championships in 1904, but he failed to place. His world championship record would eventually include one victory (1905) and one third-place (1910), both in the heavyweight class. Jensen competed at both the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games, winning bronze medals both times in the heavyweight division. Strangely, he had less success at the European championships, winning three silver medals between 1907 and 1912.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Lightweight, Greco-Roman (≤75 kilograms), Men Intercalated 25 – 26 April 1906 12 8
Middleweight, Greco-Roman (≤85 kilograms), Men Intercalated 26 – 27 April 1906 14 8
Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (>85 kilograms), Men Intercalated 27 – 28 April 1906 10 6
All-Around, Greco-Roman, Men Intercalated 30 April 1906 3 3
36 (36/0) 11 (11/0)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Lightweight, Greco-Roman, Men Rudolf WatzlAUT Carl CarlsenDEN Ferenc HolubánHUN
Middleweight, Greco-Roman, Men Verner WeckmanFIN Rudolf LindmayerAUT Robert BehrensDEN
Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men Søren JensenDEN Henri BaurAUT Marcel DuboisBEL
All-Around, Greco-Roman, Men Søren JensenDEN Verner WeckmanFIN Rudolf WatzlAUT

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Denmark DEN 2 1 1 4
Austria AUT 1 2 1 4
Finland FIN 1 1 0 2
Belgium BEL 0 0 1 1
Hungary HUN 0 0 1 1