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London 2012 Olympics qualifying: Wrestling


British Wrestling's 'big fight' for glory

How qualification works:

There are two forms of wrestling - Greco-Roman, where athletes engage using only their arms and upper bodies, and freestyle, which allows a broader range of techniques, for example use of the legs.

Countries can send a maximum of one athlete per event, with a total of 18 different gold medals up for grabs across the two disciplines. Up to 344 athletes will take part at the Games.

Qualifying begins in earnest at the World Championships, held in Turkey in September 2011, where the first eight male and eight female wrestlers in each category will gain the nod for London 2012.

From there, continental championships in early 2012 will allow the top wrestler in each weight category from the European, Asian, African and Pan-American tournaments to qualify for the Games.

(Australasia is a separate case: the expected number of participants is so small that the continent is assigned seven places in total, to be assigned between male and female competitors.)

If a wrestler finishing top in a continental championship has already qualified at the Worlds, the place is offered to the next highest-ranked wrestler, and so on.

In April 2012, a Qualification Tournament will be held for wrestlers yet to book their place at the Games. The top four male and two female wrestlers per weight category here will qualify.

Finally, for those remaining there will be a second Qualification Tournament in May 2012, where another three males and two females per weight category will go through.

As well as Australasia's quota of seven athletes, world governing body Fila can then offer seven more places at its discretion.

In some Olympic sports, earning a place at the Games does not mean that athlete is definitely going - they still have to be selected to fill that place by their national governing body.

However, in wrestling, it is expected that the athlete who earns the place will go on to take it up at the Games, barring injury or suspension.

Yana Stadnik
Yana Stadnik, born in Ukraine, competes as a British wrestler

How are British competitors doing?

British Wrestling has pledged to get five wrestlers to the Olympic Games - all of them freestyle - and is aiming for one of those athletes to record a top-eight finish.

The 2010 World Championships, held in Russia in September, will be an early yardstick against which to measure those ambitions.

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see also
Guide to wrestling
14 Oct 05 |  Wrestling

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