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Wrestling at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games

2016 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Started: August 14, 2016
Date Finished: August 14, 2016
Events: 18

Participants: 346 (234 men and 112 women) from 66 countries
Youngest Participant: UZB Abbos Rakhmonov (18 years, 44 days)
Oldest Participant: KAZ Gyuzel Manyurova (38 years, 207 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 72 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): AZE Azerbaijan and RUS Russia (9 medals)


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. Each bout consisted of a single round within a six-minute limit. The wrestler who scored more points in each round was the winner of that round; the fight ends when one wrestler has won two rounds (and thus the match).

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.

Eight wrestlers were flag bearers for their nation in the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games: [Mijian Lopez] (CUB), [Riza Kayaalp] (TUR), [Jamie Espinal] (PUR), [Asnage Castelly] (HAI), [Augusto Midana] (GBS), [Isabelle Sambou] (SEN), [Nicolae Ceban] (MDA) and [Florian Skilang Temengil] (PLW).


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Featherweight, Greco-Roman CUB Ismael Borrero JPN Shinobu Ota NOR Stig André Berge
UZB Elmurat Tasmuradov
Men's Welterweight, Greco-Roman SRB Davor Å tefanek ARM Migran Arutyunyan AZE Rəsul Çunayev
GEO Shmagi Bolkvadze
Men's Middleweight, Greco-Roman RUS Roman Vlasov DEN Mark O. Madsen IRI Saeid Abdevali
KOR Kim Hyeon-Wu
Men's Light-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman RUS Davit Chakvetadze UKR Zhan Beleniuk BLR Dzhavid Gamzatov
GER Denis Kudla
Men's Heavyweight, Greco-Roman ARM Artur Aleksanyan CUB Yasmany Lugo IRI Ghasem Rezaei
TUR Cenk Ä°ldem
Men's Super-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman CUB Mijaín López TUR Rıza Kayaalp AZE Sabah Şəriəti
RUS Sergey Semyonov
Men's Featherweight, Freestyle GEO Vladimer Khinchegashvili JPN Rei Higuchi IRI Hassan Rahimi
AZE Hacı Əliyev
Men's Welterweight, Freestyle RUS Soslan Ramonov AZE Toğrul Əsgərov UZB Ikhtiyor Navruzov
ITA Frank Chamizo
Men's Middleweight, Freestyle IRI Hassan Yazdani RUS Aniuar Geduyev AZE Cəbrayıl Həsənov
TUR Soner Demirtaş
Men's Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle RUS Abdul-Rashid Sadulayev TUR Selim Yaşar AZE ÅžÉ™rif Şərifov
USA J'den Cox
Men's Heavyweight, Freestyle USA Kyle Snyder AZE Xetaq Qazyumov ROU Albert Saritov
UZB Magomed Ibragimov
Men's Super-Heavyweight, Freestyle TUR Taha Akgül IRI Komeil Ghasemi BLR Ibragim Saidov
GEO Geno Petriashvili
Women's Flyweight, Freestyle JPN Eri Tosaka AZE Mariya Stadnik BUL Elitsa Yankova
CHN Sun Yanan
Women's Featherweight, Freestyle USA Helen Maroulis JPN Saori Yoshida SWE Sofia Mattsson
AZE Nataliya Sinişin
Women's Lightweight, Freestyle JPN Kaori Icho RUS Valeriya Zholobova-Koblova TUN Marwa Amri
IND Sakshi Malik
Women's Middleweight, Freestyle JPN Risako Kawai BLR Mariya Mamoshuk POL Monika Michalik
KAZ Yekaterina Larionova
Women's Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle JPN Sara Dosho RUS Nataliya Vorobyova SWE Jenny Fransson
KAZ Elmira Syzdykova
Women's Heavyweight, Freestyle CAN Erica Wiebe KAZ Gyuzel Manyurova CHN Zhang Fengliu
RUS Yekaterina Bukina