Dissecting The Most Controversial Call: Full Day 3 Recap
That’s a wrap for Greco-Roman after three tremendous days of competition, but the final day was mired in the controversy of the 66kg final.
Migrun Arutyunyan lost 1-1 on criteria in a back breaking gold medal match to Davor Stefanek. He spent the entire medal ceremony overcome with grief and refused to wear his silver medal for the photographers.
All week we had seen low scoring matches result in both wrestlers being put down in par terre, either in the first period or in alternating periods. The final bout was an exception.
Arutyunyan was put down in the first, but avoided being turned. Thirty seconds later, he scored on a stepout for the only point scored on an action in the match. In the second period, Stefanek received his first passive of the match at the four minute mark, leading fans to believe he would be put down before the end of the match.
As Arutyunyan continues to push the pace, it was expected Stefanek would receive his second passive. Instead, the Armenian was put down just before the five minute mark as boos rained down from the crowd. Stefanek would hold on for the win.
Arutyunyan loses on questionable calls in Vegas
On the other end of the spectrum was Arutyunyan’s teammate Artur Aleksanyan. He put a stamp on this quad with his first Olympic gold medal, this after winning two golds and a silver at the world championships this cycle. Aleksanyan became the first wrestler since Aleksandr Karelin in 1996 to finish off a quad with two world titles followed by an Olympic gold.
His finals match was by far his toughest of the day. Aleksanyan’s only points came on a gut wrench in the first period, but he was nearly turned in the second. Yasmany Lugo (CUB) locked a gut wrench up to his elbows on Aleksanyan that put a look of terror on the Armenian’s face.
While Lugo did not end up with gold, it was the first time he had ever placed after never winning a world medal. It also capped off a banner week for the Cuban Greco team.
After only winning one gold in London four years ago, and placing 10th as a team at last year's world championships, Cuba led the medal count for Greco. Two golds and one silver put them just ahead of Russia, who had two golds and one bronze, but got nothing out of day three.
Olympic Wrestling Previews:
Men's Freestyle: 57KG | 65KG | 74KG | 86KG | 97KG | 125KG
Women's Freestyle: 48KG | 53KG | 63KG | 75KG
Greco Roman: 59KG | 75KG | 85KG | 130KG
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