images of Wrestling

Olympic Sports



Competition area: 9 m diameter mat
Duration: 3 minutes × 2 periods (interval 30 minutes)

Wrestling is a body-to-body combat sport with no equipment or protective gear. The two events in this sport are Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. While Greco-Roman wrestling allows wrestlers to use only their arms and upper body in offense and defence, freestyle wrestling permits the use of all parts of the body.

Key Points

Wrestling is a tense one-on-one combat sport conducted on a circular ring without the use of any equipment or protective gear. In freestyle wrestling, wrestlers are allowed to use all parts of the body, enabling swift actions and battles. To break the opponent's balance and bring them down, wrestlers use various rapid techniques. Greco-Roman wrestling, on the other hand, forbids wrestlers from attacking below their opponent's waist. The wrestlers, therefore, grip their opponent’s upper body and use powerful techniques such as throwing in this dynamic tournament.


Wrestling, which has a long history traceable back to ancient Greece, had already been contested as a sport far back as 3000 BC. This sport was also one of the main sports in the ancient Olympics, and is recognised as the world’s oldest combat sport.

Wrestling was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, but was not featured again the 1904 Games in St. Louis. After 1912, when an international governing body for the sport was established, weight classes and rules were established, encouraging the development of wrestling as a sport. The rules underwent major reform after the Mexico City Games in 1968, including the change of the competition area from a conventional square to a circle. Women's freestyle wrestling has been a part of the official Games since the Athens 2004 Olympics.

Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation (as of January 2016)

Competition Venues

  • Makuhari Messe Hall A

Olympic Sports

Paralympic Sports