Favored for the gold, world champion Jimmy Pedro of the U.S. came away empty-handed after a shocking first-round loss to a South Korean on Monday at Sydney.
Pedro, of Lawrence, Mass., captured the 1999 world title in the 160-pound division and was 81-3 in his last four years. He was also the 1996 bronze medalist.
But he was defeated in his first match against South Korea's Choi Yong-sin.
Pedro battled through four more matches to have a chance for the bronze, but lost out.
Giuseppe Maddaloni of Italy won the men's event over Tiago Camilo of Brazil, exciting the crowd with a front flip after he scored the winning throw.
In the women's 125-pound division, Isabel Fernandez of Spain won the gold, defeating Driulys Gonzalez of Cuba in the title match.