|Date||16 August 2016|
|Location||Arena Carioca 2, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro|
|Participants||19 from 19 countries|
|Format||Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.|
World-ranked number one, Russian Nikita Melnikov missed making the 2016 Olympic team, when the Russian Olympic Trials were won by Islam Magomedov despite having a broken finger. That put Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, two-time World champion (2014, 2015) and three-time European champion (2012, 2013, 2014) as the favourite. With two other World champions in the field, including twice World champion Cenk İldem and 2011 champion Elis Guri of Bulgaria, anything could happen.
But it was the 2015 Pan American Games gold medalist, Yasmany Lugo of Cuba, who Aleksanyan beat 3-0 to win the heavyweight title, and Armenia’s first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Games (and their second all-time since independence in 1991). He is now the first Armenian athlete in any sport to win multiple Olympic medals. Aleksanyan did not give up a single point in his final three bouts from the quarter-finals onward and won back-to-back matches by technical fall in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, beating world number six Turkey’s Cenk İldem in the semi-finals. Ildem went on to win the first bronze after winning his medal match with Romania’s Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu by a score of 4-0.
The other bronze medal was won by the 2012 Olympic champion, Iran’s Ghasem Rezaei, who trailed Sweden’s Carl Schön 4-0 at the end of the first period. When the wrestlers went into par-terre in the second period, Rezaei was able to turn Schoen twice to tie the match and take the advantage on criteria. Nicknamed the “White Bear” Aleksanyan is one of the most renowned Armenian athletes of the 21st century. During the medal ceremony, he wore a shirt with an image of Robert Abajyan—a junior sergeant killed in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) who posthumously received the “Hero of Artsakh” award in April 2016 at the age of 19.
Winner of each match advanced to round two. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Bye|
|Match #2||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Bye|
|Match #3||Hamdy El-Said||EGY||Bye|
|Match #4||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Bye|
|Match #5||Islam Magomedov||RUS||Bye|
|Match #6||Ardo Arusaar||EST||Bye|
|Match #7||Cenk İldem||TUR||Bye|
|Match #8||Hardeep Singh||IND||Bye|
|Match #9||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Bye|
|Match #10||Luillys Pérez||VEN||Bye|
|Match #11||Xiao Di||CHN||Bye|
|Match #12||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Bye|
|Match #13||Revazi Nadareishvili||GEO||Bye|
|Match #14||Elis Guri||BUL||Hemza Haloui||ALG||Great Superiority (8 - 0)|
|Match #15||Fredrik Schön||SWE||Tsimafei Dzeinichenka||BLR||Decision (3 - 1)|
|Match #16||Balázs Kiss||HUN||Dimitriy Timchenko||UKR||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to quarter-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round one.
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Decision (5 - 2)|
|Match #2||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Hamdy El-Said||EGY||Decision (3 - 2)|
|Match #3||Islam Magomedov||RUS||Ardo Arusaar||EST||Decision by shutout (6 - 0)|
|Match #4||Cenk İldem||TUR||Hardeep Singh||IND||Decision (2 - 1)|
|Match #5||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Luillys Pérez||VEN||Great Superiority (8 - 0)|
|Match #6||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Xiao Di||CHN||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
|Match #7||Elis Guri||BUL||Revazi Nadareishvili||GEO||Decision (3 - 2)|
|Match #8||Fredrik Schön||SWE||Balázs Kiss||HUN||Decision (5 - 3)|
Winner of each match advanced to semi-finals. Losers to eventual finalists advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Great Superiority (8 - 0)|
|Match #2||Cenk İldem||TUR||Islam Magomedov||RUS||Decision (1 - 1)|
|Match #3||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #4||Fredrik Schön||SWE||Elis Guri||BUL||Great Superiority (9 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to final. Losers advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Cenk İldem||TUR||Great Superiority (9 - 0)|
|Match #2||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Fredrik Schön||SWE||Decision by shutout (2 - 0)|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.
|Match #1||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Bye|
|Match #2||Xiao Di||CHN||Bye|
Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.
|Match #1||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Daigoro Timoncini||ITA||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|
|Match #2||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Xiao Di||CHN||Decision by shutout (7 - 0)|
|Match #1||Cenk İldem||TUR||Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu||ROU||Decision by shutout (4 - 0)|
|Match #2||Ghasem Rezaei||IRI||Fredrik Schön||SWE||Decision (4 - 4)|
|Match 1/2||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Decision by shutout (3 - 0)|