Wrestling is an intense and exciting individual combat sport where one competitor attempts to throw the other to the ground, with the aim to pin them down to register a "fall". The competitor to first achieve a "fall" is declared the winner of the bout.
Wrestling makes for a great spectator sport as it offers strength, speed, technique and agility displayed by the wrestlers.
Wrestling has two styles: Greco-Roman and Freestyle. In the Greco-Roman style, holds are allowed from the waist up, while in freestyle holds are allowed on the whole body. Matches in both styles consist of two, rounds, with a 30 second interval.
During a match, long nails, punching, biting, pinching, strangulation holds or dislocations are forbidden, as is any other act that may cause injury to the opponent.
Women's freestyle wrestling is a growing sport around the world. The first world championship for women was held in the 1980s and an increasing number of nations enter women's wrestling teams each year. Women's wrestling has been on the Olympic programme since Athens in 2004.
One of the oldest sports in history, drawings of people wrestling have been found dating back to ancient Egypt around 2400BC and wrestling programmed in the ancient Olympics Games in 776BC.
While hundreds of wrestling styles are practised all over the world, today there are three main styles seen in international competition: Greco-Roman, freestyle, and women's wrestling.
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling (FILA) was founded in 1912 before the Stockholm Olympic Games to form a standard set rules and principles. Currently, FILA has 146 affiliated national federations with members from five continents.
Wrestling appeared in the first modern Olympics in 1896. In the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, women were included for the first time. Today, the dominant countries in international wrestling include Iran, Russia, the US, Turkey and Mongolia.
Wrestling became a competitive event at the 2nd Asian Games in Manila, Philippines in 1954.
Wrestling competitions at the 15th Asian Games will consist of the following events:
- Freestyle - 55kg
- Freestyle - 60kg
- Freestyle - 66kg
- Freestyle - 74kg
- Freestyle - 84kg
- Freestyle - 96kg
- Freestyle - 120kg
- Greco-Roman - 55kg
- Greco-Roman - 60kg
- Greco-Roman - 66kg
- Greco-Roman - 74kg
- Greco-Roman - 84kg
- Greco-Roman - 96kg
- Greco-Roman - 120kg
- Freestyle - 48kg
- Freestyle - 55kg
- Freestyle - 63kg
- Freestyle - 72kg
Competition rules for wrestling include:
- Competitors are paired in order of numbers drawn at random.
- Competitors are eliminated through a direct elimination system with repechage* for the losers against the opponents competing for first and second places. The ideal number is determined at the beginning of the competition and matches take place in order of the bottom of the draw first.
- Wrestlers who only lose against the two finalists make up a repechage. The repechage matches begin with wrestlers who lost in the first round (including the matches to obtain the ideal number) against one of the two finalists up to the losers in the semi-finals by direct elimination. Winners of the two repechage matches each receive a bronze medal.
Each weight category will begin and end in a day. Each weigh-in will take place the day before the beginning of the relevant category.
* Repechage: A supplementary heat in a competition that allows runners-up from earlier elimination heats a second chance to go to the final.
Competition will take place in the following manner:
- Qualification round
- Elimination round
- Repechage round
The wrestling area involves a mat with two concentric circles in the middle. The larger circle has a diameter of 9m, while the smaller circle has a 7m diameter and constitutes the "central wrestling area".
The area formed between the smaller and larger circles is the "passive zone", red in colour with a width of 1m.
A match is judged either on points or a "fall" - a move when one wrestler holds his opponent down with his back pinned to the mat for at least two seconds.
The referee acknowledges and registers the fall (having first agreed with the judge or mat chairman) by blowing the whistle and simultaneously striking the mat with his hand.
A match is judged on points if there were no falls during the course of a match. The wrestler who has been allocated the most points is declared winner.
Wrestling in Pakistan
In Pakistan wrestling has a long and honourable history which can be traced a couple of centuries back. The great exponent of Pakistan national style of wrestling was Khalifa Nooruddin who lived in the reign of Aurangzeb. However, the glorious traditions of wrestling in our country started with the advent of that great son of Kashmir, the mighty Siddiqa who was at the peak of his powers 125 year ago. After Siddiqa, came Boota Pehelwan, the most scientific of the big wrestlers, and on to Ghulam, Rahim Sultaniwala and Karim Bakhsh Paileeraywala. The latter is considered the most scientific wrestler ever produced by this country, a scholar and a master of art of wrestling at 210 lbs., he flattened all opposition. However, to this day he is considered the greatest of the great. And later we have the advent of the famous late Gama, who claimed the title of word champion; and his remarkable brother, Imam Bakhsh. As a point of interest it is mentioned here that these great wrestlers, without exception were from among people who had migrated from Kashmir. We are concerned with the advent of Olympic freestyle wrestling in Pakistan. It was in 1953 that the Pakistan Amateur Wrestling Federation was formed in Lahore by a few enthusiasts brought the name of Pakistan in this style of wrestling in world competitions.
Though the first three National Championships, in 1948, 1950 and 1952 had been held, yet the international rules were not observed fully and it was this lack of knowledge which was responsible, in 1948, for a team being entered in the Greco-Roman style instead of Free-style and scratched from the wrestling competition in the 14th Olympics, in London. It was only on the occasion of the 4th championships, in 1954, under the control of the Federation, that wrestling was held on a proper mat and strictly under the FILA rules. In 1954, a wrestler, Din Muhammad, was responsible for winning the first gold medal in any international competition for Pakistan when he emerged victorious in the flyweight class of the 2nd Asian Games at Manila.
The Pakistani wrestlers have won many medals in the British Empire and Commonwealth Games till this country pulled out of that organization. Pakistan had also been dominating in wrestling competitions of the Asian Games alongwith brotherly Muslim country, Iran. But for a decade or so the countries like North and South Korea and Japan have made a tremendous progress in this manly art and have challenged the supremacy of the two Muslim countries. Pakistan's greatest moment of glory in wrestling, rather any individual sport, came during the 1960 Rome Olympics, when welterweight Muhammad Bashir grabbed a bronze medal. This medal won by Pakistan in the free-style competition is the one and only.