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Recognized as one of the world’s oldest sports, Wrestling was first held at the ancient Olympics in 708 BC, and 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.
Wrestling is a body-to-body combat sport, with key variations between the styles.
Greco-Roman Wrestling featured at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The organisers hoped it would give a flavour of the Ancient Greek Olympic Games, where the sport had been very popular. In Greco-Roman Wrestling, athletes are only allowed to use their arms and upper bodies to attack their opponents’ upper bodies.
Freestyle Wrestling was introduced at the St Louis 1904 Games. In Freestyle Wrestling, competitors may use all parts of their body to attempt moves and holds on all parts of their opponents’ bodies. Wrestlers aim to pin their opponent to the ground, or to score points by throwing their opponent or taking them down.
The rules in women’s Wrestling, which made its first Olympic appearance in 2004, are similar to those used in men’s Freestyle Wrestling, but with some key variations – for example, double head-locks are forbidden.