Wrestling is one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program and was first featured at the modern Games in 1896.
Up until Athens 2004, only men’s events were on the program but four years later four women’s categories were added.
Since then, the number of women’s events has increased and there will be six weight categories for women at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and 12 for men.
Weight categories in wrestling qualification events for Paris 2024
Women weight categories
- Freestyle 50kg
- Freestyle 53kg
- Freestyle 57kg
- Freestyle 62kg
- Freestyle 68kg
- Freestyle 76kg
Men weight categories
- Greco-Roman 60kg
- Greco-Roman 67kg
- Greco-Roman 77kg
- Greco-Roman 87kg
- Greco-Roman 97kg
- Greco-Roman 130kg
- Freestyle 57kg
- Freestyle 65kg
- Freestyle 74kg
- Freestyle 86kg
- Freestyle 97kg
- Freestyle 125kg
What happened during the Tokyo 2020 wrestling competition
Japanese women dominated at their home Olympics in Tokyo at the Makuhari Messe Hall. They won four gold medals out of six the six on offer, with sisters Only Yukako and Only Risako both gold 24 hours apart.
Another highlight of the women’s events was in the 68kg class, where history was made twice. Blessing Oborududu became the first-ever Nigerian to make an Olympic final, and Tamyra Mensah-Stock of the USA became the first-ever black woman to top a podium.
History was also written in the men’s category, as Myles Nazem Amine triumphed over 2019 world silver medallist, Deepak Punia of India, in the freestyle 86kg bronze medal match to become the first athlete from San Marino to win an Olympic wrestling medal.
In the same category, the gold medal match produced an unforgettable bout as Team USA’s David Taylorknown as ‘Magic Man’, beat Islamic Republic of Iran’s Hassan Yazdani with a thrilling late rally. It was a heartbreaking loss for Yazdani, who had hoped to become the first double Olympic champion in his nation’s history. However two months later, the Iranian beat Taylor in the final of the 2021 World Championship.
There was another dramatic comeback in the semi-final of the freestyle 57kg, Ravi Kumar was down 9-2 to Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev but the Indian wrestler turned the bout around, eventually winning by fall. By doing so, he became just the second Indian wrestler ever to reach an Olympics final.
Gable Steveson of the USA (at the time 21 years old) also showed his strength of character in the freestyle 125kg final. With 10 seconds left, the score was 8-5 to Geno Petriashvili. However, two takedowns by the American turned the scores around to 8-10. After Tokyo 2020, the gold medallist signed a multi-year deal with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in Sep 2021.
On the other end of the age spectrum, Cuban superstar Mijain Lopez Nunezwho was 38 at the time, became only the second wrestler in history to win a fourth Olympic gold medal.
Five Rings Films presents the incredible story of wrestler Rulon Gardner, who shocked the world at the 2000 Olympic Games, became an American icon overnight, and then survived multiple near-death experiences, crushing weight gain, and bankruptcy to emerge undefeated.