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| Event type

Lightweight, Freestyle (≤66 kilograms), Men

Date30 July – 1 August 1928
StatusOlympic
LocationKrachtsportgebouw, Amsterdam
Participants11 from 11 countries
FormatSingle-elimination tournament with separate single-elimination tournaments for second- and third-place. Second-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner. Third-place tournament conducted among those losing to the winner or runner-up.

No international freestyle events had been contested since the 1924 Olympics so it was difficult to choose a favorite. Finland’s Eino Leino, who lived and wrestled in the United States, had won gold and silver medals at the 1920 and 1924 Olympics in freestyle, and had to be considered a favorite, although he had previously wrestled as a middleweight (1920) and welterweight (1924). But in the second round he lost to the unknown French wrestler Charles Pacôme, who then lost in the semi-finals to Estonian Osvald Käpp. Käpp defeated Norway’s Birger Nilsen for the gold medal, but Nilsen lost out in the second-place tournament to Pacôme who won the silver medal.

The bronze was won by Leino, who defeated Nilsen for third place. Although Pacôme had been a surprise medalist he came back at Los Angeles in 1932 and won the gold medal in this class. Käpp also competed in 1932 but failed to medal. Moving back to welterweight in 1932, Leino would win his fourth consecutive freestyle wrestling medal, with another bronze, making him the first Olympic wrestler to win medals at four Olympic Games.

PosCompetitor(s)NOC
1Osvald KäppESTGold
2Charles PacômeFRASilver
3Eino LeinoFINBronze
4Birger NilsenNOR
5Carlo Tesdorf JørgensenDEN
6Clarence BerrymanUSA
7Hans MolletSUI
=8Jean SmetBEL
=8Isuke ShinmenJPN
=10Algot MalmbergSWE
=10George MacKenzieGBR

Round One (30 July 1928)

Match #1 Clarence BerrymanUSA Algot MalmbergSWE
Match #2 Osvald KäppEST Carlo Tesdorf JørgensenDEN
Match #3 Eino LeinoFIN George MacKenzieGBR
Match #4 Charles PacômeFRA bye
Match #5 Jean SmetBEL bye
Match #6 Birger NilsenNOR bye
Match #7 Isuke ShinmenJPN bye
Match #8 Hans MolletSUI bye

Quarter-Finals (30 July 1928)

Match #1 Osvald KäppEST Clarence BerrymanUSA
Match #2 Charles PacômeFRA Eino LeinoFIN
Match #3 Birger NilsenNOR Jean SmetBEL
Match #4 Hans MolletSUI Isuke ShinmenJPN

Semi-Finals (31 July 1928)

Match #1 Osvald KäppEST Charles PacômeFRA
Match #2 Birger NilsenNOR Hans MolletSUI

Final Round (1 August 1928)

Match #1 Osvald KäppEST Birger NilsenNOR

2nd-Place Tournament (1 August 1928)

Match #1 Carlo Tesdorf JørgensenDEN Clarence BerrymanUSA
Match #2 Charles PacômeFRA Birger NilsenNOR
Match #3 Charles PacômeFRA Carlo Tesdorf JørgensenDEN

3rd-Place Tournament (1 August 1928)

Match #1 Eino LeinoFIN Birger NilsenNOR