|Dates||14 – 21 August 2016|
Wrestling was one of original nine sports contested on the initial Olympic programme in 1896 and it has been held at every Olympics since then, with the lone exception of the 1900 Games. In 2013, the wrestling world was stunned when it was dropped from the Olympic Games programme for a variety of reasons, shocking not only the wrestling world, but the sports world. A “Keep Olympic Wrestling” movement was created in response, and the wrestling community and organizations across the world came together in unexpected ways and ultimately saved the sport by modernizing it.
Since the 2012 London Olympic Games, and as a result of the 2013 campaign to keep wrestling in the Olympic programme, the rules and guidelines of the sport had been overhauled by the International Olympic Committee and FILA (now called the United World Wrestling - UWW) with a promise to make the sport easier to understand and more fun to watch for the average viewer.
The sport is now guaranteed to be on the Olympic programme through to the 2020 and 2024 Games, but the IOC will watch to see if the changes draw more of an interest in the sport for the future.
Men continued to compete in both disciplines (freestyle and Greco-Roman), whereas women only participated in the freestyle events, with a total 18 gold medals awarded. However, in a move toward increasing gender equity, a weight from each of the men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions was removed (from seven to six) adding two more weights for the women, ensuring a 6-6-6 split among the three disciplines. Women’s freestyle wrestling, which was introduced at the 2004 Olympic Games, previously competed at 48, 55, 63 and 72 kg classes in the 2012 Olympic Games, and due to the recent changes, the women wrestled at 48, 53, 58, 63, 69 and 75 kg in the 2016 Games. In men`s freestyle, the middleweight remained (74 kg), followed by 86, 97 and 125 kg for heavyweights. In Greco-Roman the two lightest classes are now 59 and 66 kg, and then 75, 85, 98 and 130 kg.
Previously, wrestling matches consisted of three periods, and were scored in a “best-of-three” format with no cumulative scoring. Under the new format, each match consisted of two three-minute periods with cumulative scoring, in order to try and reward aggressive wrestling and cut down on passivity.
The entire pool of competitors in each weight class received a random draw (no seeds) into a single elimination bracket. As well, each wrestler was allowed one video challenge per match – if the jury agreed, the challenge can be used again, if not, the challenge wass lost and the other wrestler received a point.
Prior to Rio, wrestlers had either worn red or blue singlets, depending on the colour they were assigned for each match, but in Rio they are wearing singlets presenting their country’s colours, with both light and dark versions and understated red and blue markings.
This modernized version of wrestling in Rio saw 346 wrestlers competing in 18 events from 66 nations with a maximum of one wrestler per country per weight division, with between 18-21 wrestlers per division. Russia lead the entries with 17 wrestlers, followed by Azerbaijan, Turkey and USA tied for 2nd with 14 competitors a piece. The wrestling tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games was held from 14 to 21 August at the Carioca Arena 2 in Barra da Tijuca, which also held the Olympic judo competitions. After the Olympic Games, it became a permanent training centre for a variety of sports.
The competition format consisted of a single-elimination tournament to reduce the number to the 16 used to determine the winner of two bronze medals. The two finalists faced off for gold and silver medals. Each wrestler who lost to one of the two finalists moved into the repêchage, culminating in a pair of bronze medal matches featuring the semi-final losers each facing the remaining repêchage opponent from their half of the bracket.
There were two sessions of competition on each day of the Rio Olympic wrestling program. Except for the last day, the first session (qualification and elimination) was held in the early afternoon, and the second session (repêchage, bronze medal and gold medal) started at 4:00 PM (except for Closing Ceremony day of 21 August - the timing for the first and second session were early morning (8:30 AM start) and early afternoon (12:45 PM start) respectively.
|Featherweight, Greco-Roman (≤59 kilograms), Men||Olympic||14 August 2016||19||19|
|Welterweight, Greco-Roman (≤66 kilograms), Men||Olympic||16 August 2016||18||18|
|Middleweight, Greco-Roman (≤75 kilograms), Men||Olympic||14 August 2016||20||20|
|Light-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤85 kilograms), Men||Olympic||15 August 2016||21||21|
|Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤98 kilograms), Men||Olympic||16 August 2016||19||19|
|Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman (≤130 kilograms), Men||Olympic||15 August 2016||19||19|
|Featherweight, Freestyle (≤57 kilograms), Men||Olympic||19 August 2016||20||20|
|Welterweight, Freestyle (≤65 kilograms), Men||Olympic||21 August 2016||21||21|
|Middleweight, Freestyle (≤74 kilograms), Men||Olympic||19 August 2016||19||19|
|Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤86 kilograms), Men||Olympic||20 August 2016||19||19|
|Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤97 kilograms), Men||Olympic||21 August 2016||19||19|
|Super-Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤125 kilograms), Men||Olympic||20 August 2016||20||20|
|Flyweight, Freestyle (≤48 kilograms), Women||Olympic||17 August 2016||18||18|
|Featherweight, Freestyle (≤53 kilograms), Women||Olympic||18 August 2016||19||19|
|Lightweight, Freestyle (≤58 kilograms), Women||Olympic||17 August 2016||20||20|
|Middleweight, Freestyle (≤63 kilograms), Women||Olympic||18 August 2016||19||19|
|Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤69 kilograms), Women||Olympic||17 August 2016||18||18|
|Heavyweight, Freestyle (≤75 kilograms), Women||Olympic||18 August 2016||18||18|
|346 (234/112)||66 (55/44)|
|Featherweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Ismael Borrero||CUB||Shinobu Ota||JPN||Stig André Berge|
|Welterweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Davor Štefanek||SRB||Migran Arutyunyan||ARM||Rəsul Çunayev|
|Middleweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Roman Vlasov||RUS||Mark O. Madsen||DEN||Saeid Abdevali|
|Light-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Davit Chakvetadze||RUS||Zhan Beleniuk||UKR||Dzhavid Hamzatau|
|Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Artur Aleksanyan||ARM||Yasmany Lugo||CUB||Ghasem Rezaei|
|Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman, Men||Mijaín López||CUB||Rıza Kayaalp||TUR||Sabah Şəriəti|
|Featherweight, Freestyle, Men||Vladimer Khinchegashvili||GEO||Rei Higuchi||JPN||Hacı Əliyev|
|Welterweight, Freestyle, Men||Soslan Ramonov||RUS||Toğrul Əsgərov||AZE||Frank Chamizo|
|Middleweight, Freestyle, Men||Hassan Yazdani||IRI||Aniuar Geduyev||RUS||Cəbrayıl Həsənov|
|Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle, Men||Abdulrashid Sadulayev||RUS||Selim Yaşar||TUR||Şərif Şərifov|
|Heavyweight, Freestyle, Men||Kyle Snyder||USA||Xetaq Qazyumov||AZE||Albert Saritov|
|Super-Heavyweight, Freestyle, Men||Taha Akgül||TUR||Komeil Ghasemi||IRI||Ibrahim Saidau|
|Flyweight, Freestyle, Women||Eri Tosaka||JPN||Mariya Stadnik||AZE||Elitsa Yankova|
|Featherweight, Freestyle, Women||Helen Maroulis||USA||Saori Yoshida||JPN||Nataliya Sinişin|
|Lightweight, Freestyle, Women||Kaori Icho||JPN||Valeriya Koblova||RUS||Sakshi Malik|
|Middleweight, Freestyle, Women||Risako Kawai||JPN||Maryia Mamashuk||BLR||Yekaterina Larionova|
|Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle, Women||Sara Dosho||JPN||Nataliya Vorobyova||RUS||Elmira Syzdykova|
|Heavyweight, Freestyle, Women||Erica Wiebe||CAN||Gyuzel Manyurova||KAZ||Zhang Fengliu|
|Islamic Republic of Iran||IRI||1||1||3||5|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||0||0||2||2|
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||0||1||1|