|Date||11 August 2012|
|Location||ExCeL, Newham, London (North Arena 2)|
|Participants||18 from 18 countries|
|Format||Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.|
Since his first appearance at the Olympic Games in 2000, Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan had reached the finals of the men’s super-heavyweight freestyle wrestling tournament every time and had lost only once, in his first attempt. He was also a two time World Champion (2003 and 2006) and runner-up (2001 and 2010), twice Asian Champion (2000 and 2011), and three-time Asian Games gold medalist (2002, 2006, and 2010). Nonetheless he was expected to have some significant challengers at the 2012 Summer Olympics, most notably Bilyal Makhov of Russia, a three-time (2007, 2009, 2010) World Champion and 2010 European Champion. Makhov lost his world title in 2011 to Aleksey Shemarov of Belarus, however, who would also be looking to challenge Taymazov in the final. Not to be counted out was Taha Akgül of Turkey, the reigning European Champion.
Taymazov was drawn into a relatively easy half that included Shemarov, who was defeated by Tervel Dlagnev of the United States, the 2011 Pan American Champion. Taymazov pinned Dlagnev in the semi-finals and went on to meet Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia in the gold medal match. Modzmanashvili was a bronze medalist at the most recent World and European Championships who had returned from a doping violation in 2008 and defeated Bilyal Makhov in the semi-finals of the London tournament. In the final, Taymazov proved himself once again to be worthy of Olympic Gold, winning the first round par terre by successfully reversing Modzmanashvili’s advantage and pushing the Georgian out of the ring in the second period for an unanswered point that earned him the Olympic crown.
The first bronze medal match pitted Dlagnev against Komeil Ghasemi of Iran, runner up to Taymazov at the most recent Asian Championships. Ghasemi wasted no time in the first period, winning it within the first 20 seconds by scoring four points that would remain unanswered. The second period went to par terre, where the American drew the advantage and converted it into a point, but the Iranian was able to push his opponent out of the ring in the final ten seconds of the last round to earn the bronze. The final podium spot was decided between Makhov and Daulet Shabanbay of Kazakhstan, who had won his first his first major international medal at the age of 14 in the heavyweight division of the 2008 Asian Championships and repeated the feat in 2009 and 2011 before moving up to the super-heavyweight class. Makhov’s experience was on display in the first period, scoring five unanswered points, but Shabanbay responded in the second round with a three-point shutout of his own. In the final period, the three-time World Champion was simply the better wrestler, and won the medal with a 3-0 score.
That was how the event and the results seemed to have ended. In 2015, however, the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. This was one of the many events affected.
The original silver medalist, Davit Modzanashvili of Georgia, was later disqualified when he was revealed to have a re-test positive for both dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (turinabol) and stanozolol. His silver medal was removed. In July 2019, the gold medalist, Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan was similarly disqualified when a re-test of his doping sample showed evidence of dehydrochloromethyltestosterone (turinabol) metabolites. In February 2020, the IOC ruled on the final standings and medals and awarded gold medals to both Ghasemi and Makhov, while Dlagnev and Shabanbay became the bronze medalists.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Tervel Dlagnev||USA||Bye|
|Match #2||El-Desoky Shaban||EGY||Bye|
|Match #3||Aliaksei Shamarau||BLR||Bye|
|Match #4||Dániel Ligeti||HUN||Bye|
|Match #5 3||Artur Taymazov||UZB 4|
|Match #6||Nick Matuhin||GER||Bye|
|Match #7||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Bye|
|Match #8||Arjan Bhullar||CAN||Bye|
|Match #9 5||Davit Modzmanashvili||GEO 6|
|Match #10||Jesse Ruiz||MEX||Bye|
|Match #11||Daulet Shabanbay||KAZ||Bye|
|Match #12||Rareș Chintoan||ROU||Bye|
|Match #13||Jargalsaikhany Chuluunbat||MGL||Bye|
|Match #14||Malal Ndiaye||SEN||Bye|
|Match #15||Taha Akgül||TUR||Oleksandr Khotsianivskiy||UKR||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #16||Bilyal Makhov||RUS||Camaləddin Maqomedov||AZE||Decision by shutout (5 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Tervel Dlagnev||USA||El-Desoky Shaban||EGY||Decision (7 - 2)|
|Match #2||Aliaksei Shamarau||BLR||Dániel Ligeti||HUN||Decision (4 - 1)|
|Match #3 7||Nick Matuhin||GER||Artur Taymazov||UZB 8|
|Match #4||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Arjan Bhullar||CAN||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #5 9||Jesse Ruiz||MEX||Davit Modzmanashvili||GEO 10|
|Match #6||Daulet Shabanbay||KAZ||Rareș Chintoan||ROU||Decision (6 - 5)|
|Match #7||Jargalsaikhany Chuluunbat||MGL||Malal Ndiaye||SEN||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #8||Bilyal Makhov||RUS||Taha Akgül||TUR||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Tervel Dlagnev||USA||Aliaksei Shamarau||BLR||Decision (5 - 1)|
|Match #2 11||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Artur Taymazov||UZB 12|
|Match #3 13||Daulet Shabanbay||KAZ||Davit Modzmanashvili||GEO 14|
|Match #4||Bilyal Makhov||RUS||Jargalsaikhany Chuluunbat||MGL||Decision (7 - 3)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1 15||Artur Taymazov||UZB 16||Tervel Dlagnev||USA|
|Match #2 17||Bilyal Makhov||RUS||Davit Modzmanashvili||GEO 18|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Nick Matuhin||GER||Bye|
|Match #2||Jesse Ruiz||MEX||Bye|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Nick Matuhin||GER||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #2||Daulet Shabanbay||KAZ||Jesse Ruiz||MEX||Fall (2:21)|
|Match #1||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Tervel Dlagnev||USA||Decision (5 - 1)|
|Match #2||Bilyal Makhov||RUS||Daulet Shabanbay||KAZ||Decision (8 - 3)|
|Match 1/2 19 20||Artur Taymazov||UZB 21||Davit Modzmanashvili||GEO 22|