|Date||14 August 2008|
|Location||Zhongguo Nongye Daxue Tiyuguan, Beijing|
|Participants||20 from 20 countries|
|Format||Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.|
The favorite was Aleksey Mishin of Russia, the 2004 Olympic and 2007 World Champion. In a huge upset, he was defeated in the quarters by Italy’s Andrea Minguzzi, who had placed only 45th at the 2007 Worlds, but had won bronze medals at the 2007-08 Europeans. Minguzzi then defeated Swede Ara Abrahamian, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, in the semi-finals. The final matched Minguzzi against Hungarian Zoltán Fodor, who was even less well-known than Minguzzi. They split the first two periods but Minguzzi won the third period to take the gold medal, the first by an Italian in Olympic wrestling since 1988 (Vincenzo Maenza).
Abrahamian went through the losers’ bracket to seemingly win a bronze medal, but he was not happy with the result, nor the judging in his semi loss to Minguzzi. The Sweden team protested that result, but that protest was not allowed. During the medal ceremony, Abrahamian threw his medal to the mat and stormed out in protest of the decision. He was stripped of his medal and disqualified, although The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) later ruled that FILA should have allowed Abrahamian’s appeal. No second bronze medal was awarded after Abrahamian’s disqualification.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Oleksandr Darahan||UKR|
|Match #2||Saman Tahmasebi||IRI|
|Match #3||Nazmi Avluca||TUR|
|Match #4||Badri Khasaia||GEO|
|Match #5||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE|
|Match #6||Haykel Achouri||TUN|
|Match #7||Ma Sanyi||CHN|
|Match #8||Zoltán Fodor||HUN|
|Match #9||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA|
|Match #10||Andrea Minguzzi||ITA|
|Match #11||Andrey Samokhin||KAZ|
|Match #12||Aleksey Mishin||RUS|
|Match #13||Denis Forov||ARM||Shingo Matsumoto||JPN|
|Match #14||Brad Vering||USA||Artur Michalkiewicz||POL|
|Match #15||Ara Abrahamian||SWE||Kim Jung-Sub||KOR|
|Match #16||Yunior Estrada||CUB||Attila Bátky||SVK|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Saman Tahmasebi||IRI||Oleksandr Darahan||UKR|
|Match #2||Nazmi Avluca||TUR||Badri Khasaia||GEO|
|Match #3||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE||Haykel Achouri||TUN|
|Match #4||Zoltán Fodor||HUN||Ma Sanyi||CHN|
|Match #5||Andrea Minguzzi||ITA||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA|
|Match #6||Aleksey Mishin||RUS||Andrey Samokhin||KAZ|
|Match #7||Denis Forov||ARM||Brad Vering||USA|
|Match #8||Ara Abrahamian||SWE||Yunior Estrada||CUB|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Nazmi Avluca||TUR||Saman Tahmasebi||IRI|
|Match #2||Zoltán Fodor||HUN||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE|
|Match #3||Andrea Minguzzi||ITA||Aleksey Mishin||RUS|
|Match #4||Ara Abrahamian||SWE||Denis Forov||ARM|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Zoltán Fodor||HUN||Nazmi Avluca||TUR|
|Match #2||Andrea Minguzzi||ITA||Ara Abrahamian||SWE|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Ma Sanyi||CHN|
|Match #2||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Ma Sanyi||CHN||Şalva Qadabadze||AZE|
|Match #2||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Aleksey Mishin||RUS|
|Match #1||Nazmi Avluca||TUR||Ma Sanyi||CHN|
|Match #2||Ara Abrahamian||SWE||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA|
|Match 1/2||Andrea Minguzzi||ITA||Zoltán Fodor||HUN|