Georgian wrestler Vladimer Khinchegashvili has followed up last year’s world title with an Olympic gold medal.
Khinchegashvili defeated Japan’s Rei Higuchi in the gold medal match for men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling. 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. Higuchi failed to score, giving a point to Khinchegashvili and putting the Georgian ahead based on tiebreaking 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.
The 25-year-old Khinchegashvili previously won a silver medal at the 2012 Games. He currently has not lost a match in the 57kg weight class since the final round of the 2014 World Championships.
For Higuchi, the day served as something of a breakout performance. The 20-year-old took out Cuba’s Yowlys Bonne, the world No. 3, in the quarterfinals, then defeated Iran’s Hassan Rahimi, the 2013 world champion, in the semifinals.
Khinchegashvili (GEO) wins 4-3 vs. Aliyev (AZE)
Dubov (BUL) wins by fall (2:11) vs. Guidea (ROU)
Rahimi (IRI) wins 6-1 vs. Lebedev (RUS)
Higuchi (JPN) wins 8-4 vs. Bonne (CUB)
Khinchegashvili (GEO) wins 8-4 vs. vs. Dubov (BUL)
Higuchi (JPN) wins 10-5 vs. Rahimi (IRI)
57kg repechage matches
Rd. 1: Yang (PRK) wins 6-2 vs. Lachinau (BLR)
Rd. 2: Aliyev (AZE) wins 10-8 vs. Sanayev (KAZ)
Rd. 2: Bonne (CUB) wins by tech fall 11-1 vs. Yang (PRK)
57kg bronze medal matches
Aliyev (AZE) wins by fall (4:50) vs. Dubov (BUL)
Rahimi (IRI) wins by fall (5:04) vs. Bonne (CUB)
57kg gold medal match
Khinchegashvili (GEO) wins 4-3 vs. Higuchi (JPN)