|
Not held in other editions
| Event type

Featherweight, Freestyle (≤53 kilograms), Women

Date18 August 2016
StatusOlympic
LocationArena Carioca 2, Parque Olímpico da Barra, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Participants19 from 19 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.

The most successful wrestler of all time, Japanese superstar Saori Yoshida, entered the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the three-time Olympic champion and 13-time World champion. Having wrestled her entire senior career at 55 kg, Yoshida chose to drop to 53 kg when the Olympic weights for women changed. She also won World titles at the lower weight following its introduction o the Worlds in 2014.

Also dropping to the lower weight class was American Helen Maroulis, the 2015 World champion at 55 kg. She also won a World silver in 2012 and bronze in 2014, which was the last time she had been beaten. However, she was struggling to make the lower weight the entire year, but never gave up on her plan to stop the Yoshida machine. With the exception of Yoshida, Maroulis had beaten everyone else in the field, and was looking to take down the Japanese star, avenging her loss to her in the 2012 World Championships final, when she was pinned in four minutes.

Also in contention for a medal was a very motivated two-time Olympian (2008, 2012), the 2009 World champion (51 kg) and six-time World medalist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden, who lost to Yoshida in the last two World Championship finals, and had a recent loss to Maroulis.

En-route to the gold medal match Maroulis pinned World No.2 Mattsson in one semi-final, while Yoshida destroyed Betzabeth Argüello of Venezuela in the other.

The titanic showdown had so much on the line with Yoshida, a massive celebrity in Japan, as the reigning World champion at 53 kg; Maroulis was the reigning World champion at 55 kg. More importantly, Maroulis was seeking the first gold medal in women’s wrestling for the USA, while Yoshida was trying to become the second wrestler to ever win four Olympic gold medals, one day after her teammate Kaori Icho became the first.

In the gold medal match, Yoshida scored first, then the younger, stronger, confident and patient Maroulis, who had studied Yoshida for the past four years, scored a takedown on a twisting move, and took a 4-1 lead to capture the gold medal.

Azerbaijan’s Nataliya Sinişin won one bronze beating Argüello. In the other bronze bout, while Mattsson pinned China’s Zhong Xuechun 32 seconds into the match making her the second Swede to earn a bronze medal in Olympic wrestling, after fellow teammate Jenny Fransson took home the nation’s first ever women’s Olympic wrestling medal (69 kg) the day before.

PosWrestlerNOCCPVFSTTPTPR
1Helen MaroulisUSA1912416Gold
2Saori YoshidaJPN1000204Silver
=3Nataliya SinişinAZE60065Bronze
=3Sofia MattssonSWE13202411Bronze
=5Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN9101511
=5Zhong XuechunCHN10012223
7Jong Myong-SukPRK10023012
8Isabelle SambouSEN510513
9Katarzyna KrawczykPOL4001116
10Maria PrevolarakiGRE40087
11Yuliya KhavaldzhyUKR200223
12Erdenechimegiin SumiyaMGL10068
13Babita KumariIND10015
14Nina HemmerGER10016
15Nguyễn Thị LụaVIE0005
=16Joseph EssombeCMR0008
=16Odunayo AdekuoroyeNGR0008
18Bediha GünTUR00010
19Jillian GallaysCAN00011

Round One (18 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Saori YoshidaJPN Bye
Match #2 Nataliya SinişinAZE Bye
Match #3 Isabelle SambouSEN Bye
Match #4 Nguyễn Thị LụaVIE Bye
Match #5 Maria PrevolarakiGRE Bye
Match #6 Babita KumariIND Bye
Match #7 Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN Bye
Match #8 Joseph EssombeCMR Bye
Match #9 Sofia MattssonSWE Bye
Match #10 Odunayo AdekuoroyeNGR Bye
Match #11 Katarzyna KrawczykPOL Bye
Match #12 Erdenechimegiin SumiyaMGL Bye
Match #13 Bediha GünTUR Bye
Match #14 Jong Myong-SukPRK Jillian GallaysCAN Great Superiority (11 - 0)
Match #15 Helen MaroulisUSA Yuliya KhavaldzhyUKR Technical Superiority (12 - 1)
Match #16 Zhong XuechunCHN Nina HemmerGER Decision (6 - 1)

Round Two (18 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Saori YoshidaJPN Nataliya SinişinAZE Decision by shutout (4 - 0)
Match #2 Isabelle SambouSEN Nguyễn Thị LụaVIE Fall (4:27)
Match #3 Maria PrevolarakiGRE Babita KumariIND Decision (5 - 1)
Match #4 Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN Joseph EssombeCMR Fall (3:39)
Match #5 Sofia MattssonSWE Odunayo AdekuoroyeNGR Fall (2:42)
Match #6 Katarzyna KrawczykPOL Erdenechimegiin SumiyaMGL Decision (8 - 6)
Match #7 Jong Myong-SukPRK Bediha GünTUR Great Superiority (10 - 0)
Match #8 Helen MaroulisUSA Zhong XuechunCHN Great Superiority (10 - 0)

Quarter-Finals (18 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Saori YoshidaJPN Isabelle SambouSEN Decision by shutout (9 - 0)
Match #2 Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN Maria PrevolarakiGRE Decision (6 - 3)
Match #3 Sofia MattssonSWE Katarzyna KrawczykPOL Decision (10 - 3)
Match #4 Helen MaroulisUSA Jong Myong-SukPRK Decision (7 - 4)

Semi-Finals (18 August 2016)

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

Match #1 Saori YoshidaJPN Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN Decision by shutout (6 - 0)
Match #2 Helen MaroulisUSA Sofia MattssonSWE Fall (5:25)

Repêchage Round One (18 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage round two.

Match #1 Nataliya SinişinAZE Bye
Match #2 Zhong XuechunCHN Yuliya KhavaldzhyUKR Technical Superiority (11 - 1)

Repêchage Round Two (18 August 2016)

Winner of each match advanced to repêchage final.

Match #1 Nataliya SinişinAZE Isabelle SambouSEN Decision by shutout (4 - 0)
Match #2 Zhong XuechunCHN Jong Myong-SukPRK Decision (5 - 5)

Repêchage Final (18 August 2016)

Match #1 Nataliya SinişinAZE Betzabeth ArgüelloVEN Decision (2 - 1)
Match #2 Sofia MattssonSWE Zhong XuechunCHN Fall (0:32)

Final Round (18 August 2016)

Match 1/2 Helen MaroulisUSA Saori YoshidaJPN Decision (4 - 1)