Wrestling has introduced drastic changes designed to keep the sport in the Olympic programme,the newly-elected president of the world governing body (FILA) said on Saturday. More categories for women,eliminating draws and cutting down the number of competitors are just some of the initiatives being introduced as wrestling battles to salvage its Olympic status after the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s executive board made a recommendation to drop it from the 2020 Games programme.
Today we made decisions needed for our struggle to remain in the Olympic movement, Serbian Nenad Lalovic said. The sport,which featured in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and every Games since apart from 1900,has joined seven other candidates battling for one spot in a revamped programme.
Wrestlers were told to bring changes to their sport,adapt to a new environment and make it more suitable for television audience if they wanted to remain in the Olympics. Wrestling,which had 18 medals seven in both freestyle and Greco-Roman and four for women contested at last year’s London Olympics,has now proposed to add more weight classes for women. We want to spread medals equally among freestyle,Greco-Roman and women wrestlers by six,six and six, Lalovic said. We also like to see only one bronze awarded in each weight class instead of two as was the case until now. We also have proposed to limit the number of athletes in each category by 16,similar to what boxing has and cut the number of referees in half,therefore we’ll have less people at the Olympics, he added.
As for the new rules,there will be no draws,no push-outs. The rules will be more understanding for spectators. FILA said the new rules will take effect immediately.