|Date||19 August 2016|
|Location||Arena Carioca 2, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro|
|Participants||20 from 20 countries|
|Format||Single 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.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Bye|
|Match #2||Nurislam Sanayev||KAZ||Bye|
|Match #3||Hacı Əliyev||AZE||Bye|
|Match #4||Yun Jun-Sik||KOR||Bye|
|Match #5||Vladimir Dubov||BUL||Bye|
|Match #6||Daniel Dennis||USA||Bye|
|Match #7||Süleyman Atlı||TUR||Bye|
|Match #8||Ivan Guidea||ROU||Bye|
|Match #9||Hassan Rahimi||IRI||Bye|
|Match #10||Garnik Mnatsakanyan||ARM||Bye|
|Match #11||Viktor Lebedev||RUS||Bye|
|Match #12||Sandeep Tomar||IND||Bye|
|Match #13||Asadula Lachinau||BLR||Chakir Ansari||MAR||Technical Superiority (14 - 4)|
|Match #14||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Yang Kyong-Il||PRK||Technical Superiority (12 - 2)|
|Match #15||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Abbos Rakhmonov||UZB||Great Superiority (10 - 0)|
|Match #16||Adama Diatta||SEN||Erdenebatyn Bekhbayar||MGL||Decision (3 - 3)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Nurislam Sanayev||KAZ||Decision (4 - 3)|
|Match #2||Hacı Əliyev||AZE||Yun Jun-Sik||KOR||Technical Superiority (12 - 2)|
|Match #3||Vladimir Dubov||BUL||Daniel Dennis||USA||Great Superiority (11 - 0)|
|Match #4||Ivan Guidea||ROU||Süleyman Atlı||TUR||Decision (8 - 3)|
|Match #5||Hassan Rahimi||IRI||Garnik Mnatsakanyan||ARM||Great Superiority (13 - 0)|
|Match #6||Viktor Lebedev||RUS||Sandeep Tomar||IND||Decision (7 - 3)|
|Match #7||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Asadula Lachinau||BLR||Great Superiority (10 - 0)|
|Match #8||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Adama Diatta||SEN||Decision (7 - 4)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Hacı Əliyev||AZE||Decision (5 - 3)|
|Match #2||Vladimir Dubov||BUL||Ivan Guidea||ROU||Fall (2:12)|
|Match #3||Hassan Rahimi||IRI||Viktor Lebedev||RUS||Decision (6 - 1)|
|Match #4||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Decision (8 - 4)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Vladimir Dubov||BUL||Decision (8 - 4)|
|Match #2||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Hassan Rahimi||IRI||Decision (10 - 5)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Nurislam Sanayev||KAZ||Bye|
|Match #2||Yang Kyong-Il||PRK||Asadula Lachinau||BLR||Decision (6 - 2)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Hacı Əliyev||AZE||Nurislam Sanayev||KAZ||Decision (10 - 8)|
|Match #2||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Yang Kyong-Il||PRK||Technical Superiority (11 - 1)|
|Match #1||Hacı Əliyev||AZE||Vladimir Dubov||BUL||Fall (4:50)|
|Match #2||Hassan Rahimi||IRI||Yowlys Bonne||CUB||Fall (5:04)|
|Match 1/2||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Decision (4 - 3)|