South London News
London 2012 Olympics Guide - Part 2: Wrestling
The countdown continues until the Olympic Games in London get underway in 2012 - indeed, it is now under three years until the greatest sporting show in British history is up and running.
And as the clock ticks down, worklifelive.com is providing a guide to all the Olympic sports - a monthly feature, which started with archery, and this month looks at another sport with a history tracing back thousands of years: Wrestling.
WRESTLING at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be held at ExCel, which is situated near London City Airport. The tournament will take place between August 4 and August 12, and ExCel is also the venue for Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Boccia, Paralympic table tennis, Paralympic Powerlifting and Wheelchair Basketball.
Track and field aside, wrestling is the longest most continuously played sport in history! It even pre-dates the ancient Olympics, with records kept from 776BC onwards.
Wrestling has been a part of the modern Olympic Games since it launched in Athens in 1896. Only once, in 1900, has the sport failed to feature, but other than that, it has been a key part of the Games' structure.
Until 1920, only one form of the sport was included, usually Greco Roman. But since then, both Freestyle and Greco have featured, with freestyle the form of wrestling practised in Great Britain and Women have long since been a part of the Olympic wrestling programme.
British hopefuls ahead of London 2012?
The prospects for more medals in the future are becoming more encouraging. As the sport develops in popularity throughout Britain, some rich talent is starting to emerge ˆ but London 2012 might be too soon, though British wrestlers are expected to be at least competitive in front of their own supporters.
The hottest prospect is 20 year old Jatinder Rakhra, from Slough, who is, without doubt, one of the most promising young wrestlers in the UK. In 2006, at just 17, he was named the UK's Asian Athlete of the Year! Another British prospect to look out for is Leon Rattigan from Bristol
It has been described as "combat chess", and is one of the UK's growing sports. You can start Wrestling from the age of eight. British Wrestling http://www.britishwrestling.org is the best place to go for all the info you'll need to get started.