Alfred Asikainen

Alfred Johan "Alpo" Asikainen (2 November 1888 – 7 January 1942) was a Finnish wrestler who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics, winning the bronze medal.[1]

Alfred Asikainen
Martin Klein and Alfred Asikainen.jpg
Asikainen (right, in black) and Klein wrestling at the 1912 Olympics
Personal information
Born(1888-11-02)2 November 1888
Viipuri, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Died7 January 1942(1942-01-07) (aged 53)
Mäntsälä, Uusimaa, Finland
WeightMiddleweight (67.5-75kg)

Sporting careerEdit

Asikainen won the Greco-Roman middleweight event at the 1911 World Wrestling Championships in Helsinki. It was the only time he finished within the podium at a World Wrestling Championship.[2]

At the 1912 Olympics Asikainen won against his first four opponents, including the eventual winner Claes Johanson. In the semifinal he wrestled Estonian Martin Klein,[3] who was forced to represent Russia,[4] for eleven hours and forty minutes (time limits were introduced to wrestling in 1924) on a blisteringly sunny day outdoors in the Stockholm Olympic Stadium. After one hour, a short rest was granted, and then every thirty minutes.[5]

Asikainen lost by pin, and Klein ended up withdrawing from the final due to exhaustion, resulting in Johansson winning the gold medal by default.[3] Asikainen was awarded the bronze medal.[4] The bout between Asikainen and Klein remains the longest wrestling match in history.[6]


  • "Alppo Asikainen". Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  1. ^ "Alfred Asikainen". Olympedia. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Wrestling Database". Foeldeak Professional Sports Equipment. Archived from the original (Accessed via dropdown menu) on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (4 January 2009). "The 10: longest encounters". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Wrestling at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games: Men's Middleweight A, Greco-Roman". Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  5. ^ Liew, Jonathan (10 August 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: baffled by the Greco-Roman wrestling grapple". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  6. ^ Scrivener, Peter (28 July 2008). "Olympic countdown - 11 days - Great grappling". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 July 2012.

External linksEdit