Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: August 22, 2004
Date Finished: August 29, 2004
Participants: 342 (292 men and 50 women) from 66 countries
Youngest Participant: Wang Xu (18 years, 330 days)
Oldest Participant: John Tarkong, Jr. (38 years, 262 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 54 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Russia (10 medals)
The 2004 wrestling events were contested at Ano Liossia Olympic Hall, which also hosted judo during the 2004 Olympics. The site had seating for 6,000 spectators at the 2004 Olympics. It has since became a popular site for various television productions.
The biggest news in 2004 Olympic wrestling was that women were allowed to compete in freestyle for the first time, with four classes. Women had had freestyle World Championships since 1987. To keep the number of wrestling competitors at approximately the same levels, the men had only 7 classes in each style, down from 8 in 2000. In addition, the men’s heaviest class was now limited to an upper weight limit of 120 kg (264 lbs), down from 130 kg (286 lbs). The women’s heaviest class also had a weight limit, of 72 kg (158 lbs).
The format in each class was the same as in 2000. Approximately 20 wrestlers per class were separated into six groups, with round-robins held in each group. The winners of each group advanced to a single-elimination tournament, starting with quarter-finals.
Russia was again the dominant wrestling nation among the men, winning 9 medals and 5 golds, and leading the medal lists (totals and golds) in both styles. Among the women, Japan was the leading nation, winning medals in all 4 classes and 2 gold medals.