Wrestling has had a tough time at the Olympics since in 2013 IOC recommended to drop wrestling from the Summer Olympics effective from 2020. This decision received a lot of backlash from athletes and organisations around the world. Several athletes and the United World Wrestling body made revisions to bring back wrestling as an Olympic sport. Their efforts paid off as wrestling was voted to be reinstated for the 2020 Olympics as well as the 2024 Olympics.
India has had success in wrestling over the past few Olympics, with four Olympic medals in the last 3 Olympics. SushilKumar won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver at the 2012 London Olympics, making him the first Indian to have multiple individual Olympic medals. Yogeshwar Dutt also bagged a bronze medal for India at the 2012 Olympics, while Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman to win a medal in wrestling, taking home the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics will certainly be an exciting event and let us take a look at all you need to know about wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics.
Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics: Preview
India will be sending its largest wrestling contingent this year, with 8 wrestlers qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. In the women’s category, Vinesh Phogat is India’s biggest hope to win a medal. Phogat took gold at the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships as well as a gold at the recently conducted Poland Open. She will be competing in the 53kg category.
At just 19 years old, Anshu Malik qualified for her first Olympics in the 57kg category by winning a silver in the 2020Individual World Cup, becoming the only Indian to do so. Sonam Malik has also qualified in the 62kg category, while Seema Bisla secured her spot at the Olympics by reaching the finals of the World Olympic Qualifier in Bulgaria.
On the men’s side, Bajrang Punia is India’s biggest hope of winning a medal this year. The 27-year-old secured his berth at the Olympics in the 65kg category and has been looking incredibly consistent over the last few championships. He recently took silver at the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya is also looking strong, clinching a bronze medal in the 57kg category at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships. Ravi Kumar took back to back gold medals at the 2020 Asian Championships and 2021 Asian Championships. Deepak Punia, who qualified in the 86kg category and Sumit Malik who qualified in the 125kg category, rounded off the Indian wrestling contingent.
Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics: Schedule
Here is a schedule of wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics. The events will be held from 1st August to 7th August and will comprise 289 wrestlers over 18 events. All timings are in Japan Standard Time (JST) which is 3 hours 30 minutes ahead of Indian Standard Time (IST).
Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics will take place at the Makuhari Messe in hall A, a convention centre outside Tokyo, in Chiba City. Makuhari is the name of the area, while Messe means trade hall in German, hence signifying it to be a convention centre.
The centre is the host of the Tokyo Game Show, the Tokyo Auto Salon, the biannual Wonder Festival and many other big festivals and conventions year-round. It is accessible by the Tokyo commuter rail system.
Wrestling and Taekwondo will take place in Hall A of the Makuhari Messe, and sitting volleyball will take place during the Tokyo Paralympics. Fencing will take place in Hall B along with Taekwondo and Wheelchair fencing for the Paralympics. Hall C will be used for goalball at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics: Timing and Live Streaming
On all days, wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics will start at 11 am Japan Time, which is 7:30 am IST. In the evenings, all matches will start at 6:15 pm Japan time, which is 2:30 pm IST. On 7th August, the last day of the wrestling events, the matches will be held from 6:45 pm Japan time (2:45 pm IST). Japan time is 3 hours and 30 minutes ahead of IST. The live streaming for Tokyo Olympics will be broadcast on Sony Sports Network in India.
Saivee is an avid follower of F1, golf, athletics and pretty much any other sport she can watch. Being a sportsperson herself, her passion for sports is deep rooted. A student currently residing in Pune, she hopes to learn something new about sports everyday!
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