Wrestling 101: Competition format

Wrestling 101: Competition format
Posted at 11:34 AM, Mar 11, 2021


The official weigh-in, done in kilograms, occurs the day before that weight class is scheduled to complete. (All rounds for a given weight class will take place in one day.) During the weigh-in, athletes have 30 minutes to make weight. The wrestlers have the right, each in turn, to get on the scale as many times as they wish. Contestants are weighed with their singlets (uniform), but nothing else. For all competitions, there is only one weigh-in per category.

Drawing of lots

Also during the weigh-in, a drawing of lots takes place to determine the pairings. Assuming a wrestler makes weight, he or she draws a number after stepping off the scales. The draw is random. Wrestlers who made it to the final round of the World Championships will always be placed on opposite sides of the bracket in Tokyo, meaning they won't have to face each other until the final round of the Olympic tournament. Other than that caveat, no seeding will be used.


Each division will be based on 16-person brackets. If more than 16 wrestlers are competing in a particular weight class, preliminary matches will be held to get to 16. If fewer than 16 competitors are entered in the division, some wrestlers will receive first-round byes. The 16-person bracket will proceed from the Round of 16 to quarterfinals to semifinals. The semifinal winners will then face each other in the Gold Medal Match.

Repechage matches

In a 16-person bracket, a finalist will have defeated three wrestlers (round of 16 {A}, quarterfinals {B}, semifinals {C}). C drops directly into one of the two Bronze Medal Matches, while A wrestles B to get into that match. (NOTE: It is possible that the wrestlers flip so the first-round loser of finalist Z wrestles the quarterfinal loser of finalist Y, but the number of repechage matches stays the same.) The repechages would be expanded if a finalist wrestled a match prior to the Round of 16. The winners of the last two repechage matches each receive a bronze medal.