| Event type

Featherweight, Freestyle (≤57 kilograms), Men

Date19 August 2016
LocationArena Carioca 2, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Participants20 from 20 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.

The 57 kg weight class had six returning World champions in it along with a number of former silver and bronze medalists. Georgia’s superstar Vladimer Khinchegashvili entered the 2016 Olympic Games as not only the defending World champion, but silver medalist from the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Worlds, and four-times European Championship medalist (two of which are gold). The 25-year-old had not lost a match in this class since the 2014 World Championships, and was one of the best wrestlers pound-for-pound. Outside of him, the other favourite had to be Hassan Rahimi of Iran who, in the last three seasons, has won gold (2013), silver (2015) and bronzes (2011, 2014) at the World Championships. Two other men in the field had medalled at higher weights at the World Championships and came down a class for the Olympics in Rio – Yowlys Bonne of Cuba, a World bronze medalist (2014) and 2012 Olympian was world-ranked number three, while Bulgaria’s Vladimir Dubov won a World bronze in 2015.

But in the end, it was Khinchegashvili in the match for Rio gold against Japan’s Rei Higuchi who, at just 20 years of age, came out of nowhere – and en route to the final, took out the Cuban Bonne in the quarter-finals and 2013 World champion Hassan Rahimi of Iran in the semi-finals. The edge was held by Higuchi, 3-2, late in the second period, but Higuchi was then put on the shot clock with 1:13 left in the bout, failing to score, giving a point to Khinchegashvili who was ahead based on tie-breaking criteria. An unsuccessful challenge from Higuchi’s corner at the very end resulted in an extra point going to Khinchegashvili to make the final score 4-3. Higuchi came within inches from Olympic glory in his Games debut.

Azerbaijan’s Hacı Əliyev, the two-time World champion, had to drop down to 57 kg because his normal weight class (61 kg) was not on the Olympic programme and he found himself wrestling with Khinchegashvili, the reigning 57 kg world champion, in the quarter-finals. This match of two reigning World champions going head-to-head had Khinchegashvili narrowly winning the bout 5-3, but Aliyev wrestled back through the repêchage to win one of the bronze medals.

The second bronze was won by Rahimi who recovered from his loss to Higuchi to pin Bonne in the bronze medal match with about a minute left on the clock.

1Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO12002113Gold
2Rei HiguchiJPN15024315Silver
=3Hacı ƏliyevAZE13113019Bronze
=3Hassan RahimiIRI13113311Bronze
=5Vladimir DubovBUL10112913
=5Yowlys BonneCUB12023222
7Asadula LachinauBLR5011620
8Yang Kyong-IlPRK500925
9Viktor LebedevRUS40089
10Adama DiattaSEN400710
11Ivan GuideaROU300813
12Nurislam SanayevKAZ2001114
13Chakir AnsariMAR100414
14Erdenebatyn BekhbayarMGL10033
15Sandeep TomarIND10037
16Süleyman AtlıTUR10038
17Yun Jun-SikKOR100212
18Abbos RakhmonovUZB00010
19Daniel DennisUSA00011
20Garnik MnatsakanyanARM00013

Round One (19 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO Bye
Match #2 Nurislam SanayevKAZ Bye
Match #3 Hacı ƏliyevAZE Bye
Match #4 Yun Jun-SikKOR Bye
Match #5 Vladimir DubovBUL Bye
Match #6 Daniel DennisUSA Bye
Match #7 Süleyman AtlıTUR Bye
Match #8 Ivan GuideaROU Bye
Match #9 Hassan RahimiIRI Bye
Match #10 Garnik MnatsakanyanARM Bye
Match #11 Viktor LebedevRUS Bye
Match #12 Sandeep TomarIND Bye
Match #13 Asadula LachinauBLR Chakir AnsariMAR Technical Superiority (14 - 4)
Match #14 Rei HiguchiJPN Yang Kyong-IlPRK Technical Superiority (12 - 2)
Match #15 Yowlys BonneCUB Abbos RakhmonovUZB Great Superiority (10 - 0)
Match #16 Adama DiattaSEN Erdenebatyn BekhbayarMGL Decision (3 - 3)

Round Two (19 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO Nurislam SanayevKAZ Decision (4 - 3)
Match #2 Hacı ƏliyevAZE Yun Jun-SikKOR Technical Superiority (12 - 2)
Match #3 Vladimir DubovBUL Daniel DennisUSA Great Superiority (11 - 0)
Match #4 Ivan GuideaROU Süleyman AtlıTUR Decision (8 - 3)
Match #5 Hassan RahimiIRI Garnik MnatsakanyanARM Great Superiority (13 - 0)
Match #6 Viktor LebedevRUS Sandeep TomarIND Decision (7 - 3)
Match #7 Rei HiguchiJPN Asadula LachinauBLR Great Superiority (10 - 0)
Match #8 Yowlys BonneCUB Adama DiattaSEN Decision (7 - 4)

Quarter-Finals (19 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO Hacı ƏliyevAZE Decision (5 - 3)
Match #2 Vladimir DubovBUL Ivan GuideaROU Fall (2:12)
Match #3 Hassan RahimiIRI Viktor LebedevRUS Decision (6 - 1)
Match #4 Rei HiguchiJPN Yowlys BonneCUB Decision (8 - 4)

Semi-Finals (19 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO Vladimir DubovBUL Decision (8 - 4)
Match #2 Rei HiguchiJPN Hassan RahimiIRI Decision (10 - 5)

Repêchage Round One (19 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.

Match #1 Nurislam SanayevKAZ Bye
Match #2 Yang Kyong-IlPRK Asadula LachinauBLR Decision (6 - 2)

Repêchage Round Two (19 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.

Match #1 Hacı ƏliyevAZE Nurislam SanayevKAZ Decision (10 - 8)
Match #2 Yowlys BonneCUB Yang Kyong-IlPRK Technical Superiority (11 - 1)

Repêchage Final (19 August 2016)

Match #1 Hacı ƏliyevAZE Vladimir DubovBUL Fall (4:50)
Match #2 Hassan RahimiIRI Yowlys BonneCUB Fall (5:04)

Final Round (19 August 2016)

Match 1/2 Vladimer KhinchegashviliGEO Rei HiguchiJPN Decision (4 - 3)