Types of Olympic wrestling: freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling

Preserved since Greek times, wrestling is one of the oldest organized sports in the world. There is something really fascinating about watching two physically matched opponents try to corner each other.

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Many countries have wrestling cultures as old as civilization itself, as the art of grappling is an integral part of how society works.

Needless to say, wrestling has always been an important part of the Olympics. For Tokyo 2021, wrestling would continue to be featured in its two main styles: freestyle and Greco-Roman.

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The amateur wrestling competition follows the rules and regulations of these two forms. Here’s a deeper look.

Greco-Roman wrestling

To someone who doesn’t have a lot of information about the sport in general, wrestlers engaged in a Greco-Roman contest may appear like two grizzly bears fighting.

The wrestling style was first introduced in 1896 during the first modern Olympics. Since then, he has been part of the Olympic Games.

A soldier in the Napoleonic army, Jean Exbrayat, is widely regarded as the father of the grappling style. He is believed to have created the discipline by traveling to European villages and understanding the wrestling cultures of different communities.

He called his form of wrestling “free hand”. He essentially made the sport of wrestling less brutal and is one of the pioneers of modern Greco-Roman wrestling.

The main objective of a competitor is to pin his opponent. For this, the athlete must lift his opponent and slam him on the mat.

However, disassembly cannot be the result of melee performed below the belt. The competitor must use their upper body to achieve an out. The takedown is scored on a scale of 2 to 5 points by a team of three judges.

This score depends on the technicality of the lift. So, if an athlete convincingly lifts his opponent, he often scores 5. If he is able to knock him down, but hardly or with less control, he gets two.

If you nail the opponent, who nails both of your opponent’s shoulder blades to the ground, you win the competition.

The wrestlers try it out for three rounds of two minutes. Like all combat sports, competitors are rewarded for being more aggressive with their play. Additionally, if the referee does not see much action from an athlete, he will be cautioned.

After being warned, the referee can penalize the less aggressive wrestler and order a clinch. In this position, the relatively passive wrestler starts at the bottom and his opponent has the advantage.

He tries to get a hold for a takedown, while the other tries to defend him from the less favorable position.

Also, if at any point, if a wrestler in an unfavorable position is able to reverse the position, he gets a point. If a wrestler is able to push his opponent off the mat, he also scores a point.

Freestyle wrestling

The objective of the competition is quite clear. Either win by tackling your opponent flat on the ground, or take charge of the match and get ahead of your opponent.

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Something he shares with the Greco-Roman wrestling. He also shares the rules of judgment and the criteria for scoring a T with the Greco-Roman. The only difference is in the melee.

Here, wrestlers can use their opponents’ legs to provide a grip and, therefore, a takedown. Since wrestlers have a larger target region, we see more action in freestyle wrestling matches.

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Olympic wrestling is one of the games’ biggest attractions because of the incomparable action. The aggressive gameplay combined with intense displays of brute force and gameplay has always kept fans on their toes.

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Robert J. King