Photo: Tony Rotundo

Mens Freestyle Champs At The 2016 Olympics


The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro would be very big with three of the world’s biggest wrestling stars winning titles in the men’s freestyle division.

57kg- Vladimir Khinchegashvili (Georgia)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Khinchegashvili would finally achieve his career goal here at the 2016 Olympic Games of winning gold. After falling short to Dzhamal Otarsultanov in the 2012 Olympic Finals, Khinchegashvili would be able to claim gold in Rio defeating Rei Higuchi of Japan.

He would not win a world medal after 2017 however, moving up a weight class and not having much success. During the covid-19 pandemic things would go south in his performance and Khinchegashvili would end up calling it a career.

65kg- Soslan Ramonov (Russia)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Ramonov in the 2016 Olympic finals would be possibly the most dominant display of wrestling that I have ever seen in that high caliber of a match. Ramonov would end up winning by technical superiority 11-0 win over the reigning Olympic Champion Toghrul Asgarov.

There was not much for Ramonov after that being that he won no world or Olympic medals but Ramonov did win gold at the 2014 World Championships.

74kg- Hassan Yazdani (Iran)

PC: Tony Rotundo

A 21 year old Yazdani winning gold was not even the biggest story of this weight class after the reigning Olympic Champion Jordan Burroughs of the United States would go home without a medal.

Yazdani would face Russia’s Aniuar Geduev who knocked Burroughs out of the bracket. Things would go south for Yazdani real quick with Geduev picking up a massive lead. The injury would strike with Geduev getting injured and Yazdani being able to mount a comeback winning 6-6 on criteria. The call would be challenged and lost, giving Yazdani a 7-6 win.

86kg- Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Russia)

PC: Tony Rotundo

A 20 year old veteran at this point is crazy as that is to say. Sadulaev was untouched the past two years winning gold 2014, and 2015 at the World Championships.

Coming into the Olympic finals it would be against Selim Yasar of Turkey who he beat the year prior in the finals. The match would be domination from Sadulaev as the tank would pick up his 3rd gold medal.

97kg- Kyle Snyder (United States)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Kyle Snyder along with Abdulrashid Sadulaev was considered one of the best wrestlers in the world winning the World Championships a year prior against reigning champion Abdusalam Gadisov.

Snyder’s run would not be as dominant but with his win over Khetag Gazyumov in the finals he would become the youngest Olympic Champion in United States wrestling history.

125kg- Taha Akgul (Turkey)

PC: Tony Rotundo

Akgul was untouchable at this point in his career. Winning the World Championships the two years prior so most assumed Akgul would win the title here as well.

Akgul would see a familiar opponent in Iran’s Komeil Ghasemi in the finals, Akgul would get the win here and cement his legacy among the heavyweight greats.

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Akil Murugan
Akil Murugan
Senior Editor for Heavyweight Nation

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