India has won seven medals across all weight categories at the quadrennial event.

Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world and is also one of the oldest surviving sports of the modern Olympics. Wrestling first featured in the Olympics in 1896 and has been a regular part of the Olympics since 1904. Only men’s wrestling was part of the Olympics till 2004 but in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, women’s wrestling was also included as an event.

The now-disbanded USSR has been the most successful country when it comes to wrestling in the Olympics, closely followed by the USA. India has won seven medals in Olympics in the game so far. The first Indian to win a medal in wrestling in the Olympics was K.D. Jadhav back in 1952 in Helsinki. He won the bronze medal in men’s freestyle bantamweight. India had to wait a long time for its second medal as it came in 2008. India has won six Olympic medals in wrestling since 2008.

In order to make the competition fair and competitive, the wrestlers are divided into categories on the basis of their weight. The weight of a wrestler decides which weight category he/she will be placed in. A wrestler cannot wrestle above or below his weight category. Here is a look at the different weight categories in Olympic wrestling.

Women weight categories

The women’s weight categories have been divided into six different weights. The women’s wrestling category comprises just freestyle wrestling, unlike the men’s format which also includes Greco-Roman. The lowest weight category in Women’s wrestling is 50kgs while the highest is 76kgs. The six different weight categories that women compete in are:

  • Freestyle 50kg
  • Freestyle 53kg
  • Freestyle 57kg
  • Freestyle 62kg
  • Freestyle 68kg
  • Freestyle 76kg

A woman competing in a particular weight category cannot exceed the weight mentioned in that category.

Sakshi Malik is the only Indian woman to win a medal in the Olympics. She won the bronze medal in Rio Olympics in 2016 in the 58kg category.

Men weight categories

On the other hand, there are 12 different weight categories for men in wrestling in the Olympics. Men’s wrestling includes two different styles, Greco-Roman and Freestyle. The major difference between Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling is that in Greco-Roman attacks or holds are below the waist are prohibited but in freestyle holds and attacks below the waist are allowed. The lowest weight category in Men’s freestyle is 57kg while the highest is 125kgs. While the lowest weight category in Men’s Greco-Roman is 60kgs while the highest weight category is 130kgs. The different weight categories that men compete in are:

  • Greco-Roman 60kg
  • Greco-Roman 67kg
  • Greco-Roman 77kg
  • Greco-Roman 87kg
  • Greco-Roman 97kg
  • Greco-Roman 130kg
  • Freestyle 57kg
  • Freestyle 65kg
  • Freestyle 74kg
  • Freestyle 86kg
  • Freestyle 97kg
  • Freestyle 125kg

India has won at least one medal in wrestling in all the Olympics since 2008. In Tokyo Olympics 2020, India won two medals in Olympics. Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal in the men’s 65kg freestyle event while Ravi Kumar Dahiya secured a silver medal in the 57kg freestyle category. Deepak Punia narrowly missed out on a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after losing his bronze medal bout.

It has been one of the most successful events for India in the Olympics in recent years. Medals can be expected from wrestling in the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024 as well. One of the main wrestlers to watch out for will be Ravi Kumar Dahiya. The 24-year-old who won a silver medal in Tokyo 2020 also recently won Gold in the 2022 Commonwealth games. Dahiya would surely like to turn his silver medal into gold in Paris in 2024.

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