| Event type

Super-Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤120 kilograms), Men

Date11 August 2012
LocationExCeL, Newham, London (North Arena 2)
Participants18 from 18 countries
FormatSingle 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. Dlagnev received his bronze medal on 6 March 2022 at the 2022 Big 10 Conference Wrestling Championships.

=1Komeil GhasemiIRIGold
=1Bilyal MakhovRUSGold
=3Tervel DlagnevUSABronze
=3Daulet ShabanbayKAZBronze
5Jargalsaikhany ChuluunbatMGL
6Aliaksei ShamarauBLR
7Taha AkgülTUR
8Rareș ChintoanROU
9El-Desoky ShabanEGY
10Dániel LigetiHUN
11Arjan BhullarCAN
12Oleksandr KhotsianivskyiUKR
13Malal N'DiayeSEN
14Camaləddin MaqomedovAZE
15Nick MatuhinGER
16Jesse RuizMEX
DQArtur TaymazovUZB1
DQDavit ModzmanashviliGEO2

Round One (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.

Match #1 Tervel DlagnevUSA Bye
Match #2 El-Desoky ShabanEGY Bye
Match #3 Aliaksei ShamarauBLR Bye
Match #4 Dániel LigetiHUN Bye
Match #5 3 Artur TaymazovUZB 4
Match #6 Nick MatuhinGER Bye
Match #7 Komeil GhasemiIRI Bye
Match #8 Arjan BhullarCAN Bye
Match #9 5 Davit ModzmanashviliGEO 6
Match #10 Jesse RuizMEX Bye
Match #11 Daulet ShabanbayKAZ Bye
Match #12 Rareș ChintoanROU Bye
Match #13 Jargalsaikhany ChuluunbatMGL Bye
Match #14 Malal N'DiayeSEN Bye
Match #15 Taha AkgülTUR Oleksandr KhotsianivskyiUKR Decision by shutout (3 - 0)
Match #16 Bilyal MakhovRUS Camaləddin MaqomedovAZE Decision by shutout (5 - 0)

Round Two (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.

Match #1 Tervel DlagnevUSA El-Desoky ShabanEGY Decision (7 - 2)
Match #2 Aliaksei ShamarauBLR Dániel LigetiHUN Decision (4 - 1)
Match #3 7 Nick MatuhinGER Artur TaymazovUZB 8
Match #4 Komeil GhasemiIRI Arjan BhullarCAN Decision by shutout (2 - 0)
Match #5 9 Jesse RuizMEX Davit ModzmanashviliGEO 10
Match #6 Daulet ShabanbayKAZ Rareș ChintoanROU Decision (6 - 5)
Match #7 Jargalsaikhany ChuluunbatMGL Malal N'DiayeSEN Decision by shutout (3 - 0)
Match #8 Bilyal MakhovRUS Taha AkgülTUR Decision by shutout (4 - 0)

Quarter-Finals (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.

Match #1 Tervel DlagnevUSA Aliaksei ShamarauBLR Decision (5 - 1)
Match #2 11 Komeil GhasemiIRI Artur TaymazovUZB 12
Match #3 13 Daulet ShabanbayKAZ Davit ModzmanashviliGEO 14
Match #4 Bilyal MakhovRUS Jargalsaikhany ChuluunbatMGL Decision (7 - 3)

Semi-Finals (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.

Match #1 15 Artur TaymazovUZB 16Tervel DlagnevUSA
Match #2 17 Bilyal MakhovRUS Davit ModzmanashviliGEO 18

Repêchage Round One (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.

Match #1 Nick MatuhinGER Bye
Match #2 Jesse RuizMEX Bye

Repêchage Round Two (11 August 2012)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.

Match #1 Komeil GhasemiIRI Nick MatuhinGER Decision by shutout (2 - 0)
Match #2 Daulet ShabanbayKAZ Jesse RuizMEX Fall (2:21)

Repêchage Final (11 August 2012)

Match #1 Komeil GhasemiIRI Tervel DlagnevUSA Decision (5 - 1)
Match #2 Bilyal MakhovRUS Daulet ShabanbayKAZ Decision (8 - 3)

Final Round (11 August 2012)

Match 1/2 19 20 Artur TaymazovUZB 21Davit ModzmanashviliGEO 22