Moscow: Wrestling has introduced drastic changes designed to keep the ancient 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 surprise 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 told a news conference shortly after winning overwhelming majority votes to lead the sport at FILA's extraordinary congress in Moscow. 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. "They (IOC) gave us a yellow card, so we had to change. And we did," Lalovic said. "The new rules had been adapted. Also we gave more equality to women in our sport. The most important thing is the changes in our constitution and the new rules."
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
12:07 AM, May 19, 2013