|Date||6 August 2012|
|Location||ExCeL, Newham, London (North Arena 2)|
|Participants||20 from 20 countries|
|Format||Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.|
The favorites going into the men’s light-heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling tournament were Hristo Marinov of Bulgaria, the 2010 World Champion, and Damian Janikowski of Poland, the 2011 World Championship silver medalist. Alim Selimov of Belarus was the reigning World Champion, a title he had held in 2005 as well, but was inconsistent on the world stage and not considered too dangerous in London. The tournament also had its share of Olympic veterans vying for the crown, including Egypt’s Karam Gaber, the 2004 Olympic champion in the heavyweight division, and Turkey’s Nazmi Avluca, who had made appearances at the 1996, 2000, and 2008 editions of the Games, the latter of which netted him a bronze medal. Nonetheless, it was expected that Marinov and Janikowski would be the most serious challengers for the crown.
In the end it was not to be – Marinov, Selimau, and Avluca were all eliminated in their first bout, Avluca by Janikowski and Selimau by eventual finalist Alan Khugayev of Russia, runner-up at the most recent European Championships. Janikowski survived to the semi-finals, where he was defeated by Gaber, who went on to face Khugayev in the finals. Both rounds of the gold medal match went to par terre, with Khugayev emerging victorious after a successful defense, and then gut-wrench, of his Egyptian opponent.
In the first bronze medal match, Daniyal Gadzhiyev of Kazakhstan, a rookie wrestler who had managed to defeat Marinov in his first bout and Selimau in the repêchage, and Vladimer Gegeshidze of Georgia, an unusually tall competitor for his weight class who had not seen the podium in his two World Championships. They were evenly matched in their first two rounds, each successfully defending in the par terre, while, with points and cautions tied 90 seconds into the third round, Gadzhiyev drew the top and Gegeshidze the bottom in the final par terre. During the round, it seemed at first that the Georgian had won, scoring two points by converting his defense. The Kazakhs protested and, in a controversial decision, the referee’s call was overturned and Gadzhiyev was awarded the point and, consequently, the bronze medal. Gegeshidze, seemingly a fair sport at first, refused to shake hands with his opponent and attempted to exit the arena the wrong way, before kicking at the barricades and storming off. The second bronze medal match, between Janikowski and Mélonin Noumonvi, a three-time Olympian and runner-up at the 2009 World Championships, was far less dramatic, with Janikowski successfully defending in the first par terre and throwing his opponent out of the ring in the second to clinch the bronze.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Vladimer Gegeshidze||GEO||Bye|
|Match #2||Saman Tahmasebi||AZE||Bye|
|Match #3||Vasyl Rachyba||UKR||Bye|
|Match #4||Haykel Achouri||TUN||Bye|
|Match #5||Alan Khugayev||RUS||Bye|
|Match #6||Alim Selimau||BLR||Bye|
|Match #7||Daniyal Gadzhiyev||KAZ||Bye|
|Match #8||Khristo Marinov||BUL||Bye|
|Match #9||Karam Gaber||EGY||Bye|
|Match #10||Nenad Žugaj||CRO||Bye|
|Match #11||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Bye|
|Match #12||Rami Hietaniemi||FIN||Bye|
|Match #13||Chas Betts||USA||Keitani Graham||FSM||Decision by shutout (7 - 0)|
|Match #14||Pablo Shorey||CUB||Habibollah Akhlaghi||IRI||Decision (2 - 1)|
|Match #15||Amer Hrustanovic||AUT||Lee Se-Yeol||KOR||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #16||Damian Janikowski||POL||Nazmi Avluca||TUR||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Vladimer Gegeshidze||GEO||Saman Tahmasebi||AZE||Decision (3 - 3)|
|Match #2||Vasyl Rachyba||UKR||Haykel Achouri||TUN||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #3||Alan Khugayev||RUS||Alim Selimau||BLR||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #4||Daniyal Gadzhiyev||KAZ||Khristo Marinov||BUL||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #5||Karam Gaber||EGY||Nenad Žugaj||CRO||Decision (3 - 1)|
|Match #6||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Rami Hietaniemi||FIN||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #7||Pablo Shorey||CUB||Chas Betts||USA||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #8||Damian Janikowski||POL||Amer Hrustanovic||AUT||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Vladimer Gegeshidze||GEO||Vasyl Rachyba||UKR||Decision (3 - 4)|
|Match #2||Alan Khugayev||RUS||Daniyal Gadzhiyev||KAZ||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #3||Karam Gaber||EGY||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Decision (4 - 5)|
|Match #4||Damian Janikowski||POL||Pablo Shorey||CUB||Fall (3:32)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Alan Khugayev||RUS||Vladimer Gegeshidze||GEO||Decision (6 - 1)|
|Match #2||Karam Gaber||EGY||Damian Janikowski||POL||Decision (7 - 3)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Alim Selimau||BLR||Bye|
|Match #2||Nenad Žugaj||CRO||Bye|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Daniyal Gadzhiyev||KAZ||Alim Selimau||BLR||Decision (4 - 3)|
|Match #2||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Nenad Žugaj||CRO||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #1||Daniyal Gadzhiyev||KAZ||Vladimer Gegeshidze||GEO||Decision (3 - 1)|
|Match #2||Damian Janikowski||POL||Mélonin Noumonvi||FRA||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match 1/2||Alan Khugayev||RUS||Karam Gaber||EGY||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|