The men's freestyle heavyweight competition at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin took place from 3 August to 4 August at the Deutschlandhalle. Nations were limited to one competitor. This weight class allowed wrestlers over 87kg.
|Men's freestyle heavyweight|
at the Games of the XI Olympiad
|Competitors||11 from 11 nations|
This freestyle wrestling competition continued to use the "bad points" elimination system introduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics for Greco-Roman and at the 1932 Summer Olympics for freestyle wrestling, with a slight modification. Each round featured all wrestlers pairing off and wrestling one bout (with one wrestler having a bye if there were an odd number). The loser received 3 points if the loss was by fall or unanimous decision and 2 points if the decision was 2-1 (this was the modification from prior years, where all losses were 3 points). The winner received 1 point if the win was by decision and 0 points if the win was by fall. At the end of each round, any wrestler with at least 5 points was eliminated.
|3 August 1936||Round 1|
|4 August 1936||Round 2|
Of the winners, three won by fall and advanced with 0 points (as did Herland, who had a bye) while two won by decision and moved to the second round with 1 point. Of the losers, Gehring lost by split decision and received 2 points while the other five received 3 points for losses by fall or unanimous decision.
|Kristjan Palusalu||Estonia||Fall||Josef Klapuch||Czechoslovakia|
|Mehmet Çoban||Turkey||Decision, 3–0||Léon Charlier||Belgium|
|Willy Bürki||Switzerland||Decision, 2–1||Georg Gehring||Germany|
|Nils Åkerlindh||Sweden||Fall||Roy Dunn||United States|
|Hjalmar Nyström||Finland||Fall||George Chiga||Canada|
|8||Roy Dunn||United States||0||3||3|
The four men who started the round with 0 points all ended with a different number of points: Palusalu won by fall, staying at 0; Akerlindh won by decision, earning 1 point; Nyström lost by split decision, accumulating 2 points; and Herland lost by fall, getting 3 points. With four of the five bouts ending by fall, Bürki stayed at 1 point, Gehring stayed at 2, and Klapuch stayed at 3 (as did Chiga, who had a bye). Çoban's loss moved him to 4 points; Charlier's and Dunn's eliminated them.
|Kristjan Palusalu||Estonia||Fall||Robert Herland||France|
|Josef Klapuch||Czechoslovakia||Fall||Léon Charlier||Belgium|
|Georg Gehring||Germany||Fall||Mehmet Çoban||Turkey|
|Willy Bürki||Switzerland||Fall||Roy Dunn||United States|
|Nils Akerlindh||Sweden||Decision, 2–1||Hjalmar Nyström||Finland|
|11||Roy Dunn||United States||3||3||6|
Palusalu picked up his first point, winning by decision to eliminate Çoban. Akerlindh also finished the round with 1 point, defeating Bürki (who stayed in competition with 4 points) by fall. Nyström stayed at 2 points with a bye; Herland stayed at 3 with a win by fall. Klapuch received his fourth point. Gehring and Chiga were eliminated.
|Robert Herland||France||Fall||George Chiga||Canada|
|Kristjan Palusalu||Estonia||Decision, 3–0||Mehmet Çoban||Turkey|
|Josef Klapuch||Czechoslovakia||Decision, 3–0||Georg Gehring||Germany|
|Nils Akerlindh||Sweden||Fall||Willy Bürki||Switzerland|
All three bouts were won by fall, with the winners staying on their starting point totals (Palusalu at 1, Nyström at 2, Klapuch at 4). The loss was not enough to eliminate Akerlindh, who started with 1 point and ended with 4; he withdrew after the round anyway. Herland and Bürki, however, were eliminated.
|Hjalmar Nyström||Finland||Fall||Robert Herland||France|
|Kristjan Palusalu||Estonia||Fall||Willy Bürki||Switzerland|
|Josef Klapuch||Czechoslovakia||Fall||Nils Akerlindh||Sweden|
Palusalu had previously defeated Klapuch, but Nyström had not faced either other wrestler. Klapuch received the bye in this round, with Nyström and Palusalu wrestling. Had Nyström earned fewer than 3 points in the round, another bout would have been contested with Nyström and Klapuch facing off.
Klapuch could not earn the gold medal regardless of the result. A Palusalu win would result in him taking gold with fewer points than either other remaining wrestler and no possible bouts left for the Estonian. A Palusalu loss by split decision would still place him at fewer points than Klapuch, keeping Klapuch from the gold. Even a Palusalu loss by fall or unanimous decision, leaving Palusalu and Klapuch tied on points, would not be enough for Klapuch, as Palusalu had the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Nyström still had a chance at the gold medal. A win by fall or unanimous decision over Palusalu followed by any win over Klapuch would earn gold for Nyström. A win by split decision over Palusalu would leave the men tied on points and give Nyström the head-to-head tie-breaker, but Nyström would still need to face Klapuch and therefore would need to go scoreless in that final bout—that is, win by fall, to take the gold.
Palusalu defeated Nyström by unanimous decision. This gave Nyström 5 points, eliminating him with the bronze medal. Klapuch and Palusalu were not eliminated, but could not face each other again, so the competition was over with Palusalu taking gold with 2 points and Klapuch silver with 4.
|Kristjan Palusalu||Estonia||Decision, 3–0||Hjalmar Nyström||Finland|
- "Wrestling at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games: Men's Heavyweight, Freestyle". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
- Official Olympic Report, la84.org. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Official Report, p. 716.
- Official Report, p. 736.