What Is Wrestling? 

Recognised as one of the world’s oldest sports, Wrestling was first held at the ancient Olympics in 708 BC, and Greco-Roman Wrestling was included at the Athens 1896 Games, the first of the modern era. Played out on a circular mat, the sport is a battle of nerves, strength and skill, and should provide plenty of drama at ExCeL during London 2012.

The London 2012 Wrestling competition consists of two disciplines – Greco-Roman, where athletes use their upper bodies and arms only, and Freestyle, where athletes can use any part of their bodies.

The Basics:

Wrestling is a body-to-body combat sport. Greco-Roman wrestlers use only their upper bodies and arms. Freestyle wrestlers can use any part of their body to pin or throw their opponent to the ground.The aim is to force the back of the opponent’s shoulders on to the ground. Bouts take place on a mat and can last for a maximum of three periods of two minutes, with a 30-second break in between periods. Periods are decided by points, awarded for various throws and holds. A period is won by technical superiority by performing a grand amplitude hold (worth five points), scoring two holds worth three points, or gaining a six-point lead.

The athlete who wins two periods wins the bout. A contest can finish early if a wrestler wins the first two periods or pins his/her opponent.

In Freestyle Wrestling, the third, deciding period may last longer than two minutes to determine the winner. In the event of a tie on points in the third period after two minutes, the bout enters a golden score period, when the first score wins.

The rules in women’s Wrestling are similar to those used in men’s Freestyle Wrestling, but with some key variations – for example, double head-locks are forbidden.