RIO DE JANEIRO – Tomohiro Inoue missed out on giving Japan its second medal of the men’s wrestling competition after he was beaten by Georgia’s Shmagi Bolkvadze in a match for bronze in the Greco-Roman 66-kilogram category at the Rio Games on Tuesday.
Inoue lost his opening match of the day but moved into the repechage after his opponent, Serbia’s Davor Stefanek, went on to reach the final. Stefanek eventually won the gold medal.
Inoue beat Germany’s Frank Staebler in the repechage round but came up short in his bid for a bronze, losing 1-0 to Bolkvadze and ending up in fifth.
“I lost the first match so after that I had nothing to lose,” said the 29-year-old Inoue, who was competing in his first Olympics.
“That I wasn’t able to score points in the third-place playoff showed my lack of ability. I gave it all I had. I am not satisfied but don’t have any regrets either.”
Japan’s Shinobu Ota took the silver medal in the Greco-Roman 59-kg final on Sunday.
Japan’s Greco-Roman coach Shigeki Nishiguchi said he thought Inoue had a solid performance after his first loss of the day.
“Inoue was nervous in his first match but I thought he wrestled well in his other two bouts,” said Nishiguchi.
“Along with Ota’s silver medal effort, Inoue has helped bring back the burn to the flame that was flickering out in Greco-Roma wrestling in Japan.”
Stefanek, the 2014 world champion, beat Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan in the final to give Serbia its first medal in Rio.
In the 98-kg gold medal match, Artur Aleksanyan went one better than his compatriot Arutyunyan, beating Yasmany Lugo Cabrera of Cuba.