#WrestleParis, Olympics

UWW approves updated Paris Olympics qualification process

By Vinay Siwach

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (September 28) -- United World Wrestling has approved an updated qualification process for the '24 Paris Olympics.

To qualify for the Paris Games, wrestlers will get three events. -- the 2023 World Championships, the continental qualifiers in 2024, and the 2024 World Olympics Qualifiers, the last chance for wrestlers to earn a spot.

Wrestling will be contested in three styles -- Greco-Roman, men's freestyle, and women's freestyle -- with a total of 18 weight classes. One weight class will have 16 wrestlers and each nation will be able to field a maximum of one wrestler per weight. Overall, 288 quotas will be awarded for the '24 Olympics.

"We are extremely happy to confirm the qualifying period and structure for the Paris Olympics," Nenad LALOVIC, UWW President, said. "We have made a few changes to the qualifying process that creates further fairness in the distribution between the World Championships and the World Qualifier."

Any wrestler born on/before December 31, 2006, is eligible to compete and qualify for the Paris Olympics. According to the updated system, the National Olympic Committees that participated in the '23 senior continental championships will be allowed to participate in the '23 World Championships which is the first qualification tournament [with the same number of athletes per style].

Earlier, 108 quotas were awarded at the World Championships [six per Olympic weight] but UWW has decided to reduce it to 90 quotas [five per Olympic weight].

At the 2023 World Championships, all four medalists [gold, silver, and two bronze] will secure the quota for their nation. The fifth spot will be decided with a bout between the wrestlers who lost their bronze medal matches. The winner of this wrestle-off gets a quota for the '24 Games.

In the second phase, 144 wrestlers will qualify for the Paris Games through the continental quotas. The top two wrestlers in each Olympic weight class will get one spot each for their NOCs.

Athletes who earned a quota at the '23 Worlds will not be eligible to participate in the continental qualifiers unless they participate in a different style. For continental qualifiers, a NOC/NF can only send the same number of wrestlers that participated in the '24 senior continental championships.

The third and final phase will see the World Olympic Qualifiers offer three quotas in each Olympic weight class instead of the two it offered previously. A total of 54 wrestlers can qualify for the tournament.

Apart from the 36 finalists across three styles, the bronze medal winners will also have a chance to get a quota for their country. An additional wrestle-off will be held between the two bronze medal winners and the wrestler who wins the quota wrestle-off will take the trip to Paris.

Any country can send its wrestlers to this event barring the wrestlers who won quotas in phases one and two.

UWW's vision to update the qualification was to give fair chance to wrestlers who failed to reach the finals at the World Olympic Qualifiers. This also makes the repechage equally important as the semifinals.

If there are any unused quotas due to withdrawal, doping offense, or non-participation, the quota will be transferred to the next best wrestler of that weight category of the tournament.

The qualifying period begins September 16, 2023, and ends May 12, 2024. The eight-month period will see six qualifying tournaments.

The deadline for the Paris Olympic entries is July 8, 2024, with wrestling scheduled to take place in Paris from August 4-11, 2024.

The candidacy to host the Continental Olympic Qualifiers and the World Olympic Qualifiers is now open and UWW encourages all the NFs interested to host one of these events to send their candidacy.

#development

Wrestling Academy Bern gets new training facility

By United World Wrestling Press

BERN, Switzerland (December 5) -- Wrestling Academy Bern officially opened a new training facility in Bern last month with much celebration. With an aim to bring wrestling out of the shadows in Bern and Switzerland, WAB has been making consistent efforts and celebrated a successful year with the opening of the new club.

The United World Wrestling has also donated equipment to WAB and has overviewed the constant progress of the club.

Around 130 guests attended the opening and among them were companions and supporters of the WAB, who contributed in various ways to the successful year of the young club.

The club was founded in 2018 and set itself a goal of constructing and expanding the training premises which was completed on November 25.

“Sport unites! The guest list is a mixed bag of people who are seeing a wrestling mat for the first time today and others who have been in the sport their whole lives," Robin Pietschmann, Team Manager, said emphasizing how representative the event is of an important cornerstone of the WAB.

The club was sourced via a crowdfunding project, which was carried out in the spring of 2022 on the “I believe in you” platform.

"The occasion is therefore also an opportunity for us today to say a big merci to those who have diligently supported and donated," Nadine Pietschmann added at the opening.

The WAB has successfully achieved promotion to the National League B [Swiss Wrestling Challenge League which the active team achieved a few weeks ago.

The Swiss Wrestling Federation also sent a representative to this special occasion. The head of the league, Gabriel Christen, congratulated the Wrestling Academy Bern on the new club and training facility and also emphasized the exemplary youth work of the young club.

"Nothing is as old as yesterday's success," emphasized Robin Pietschmann at the end, which in no way diminished the joy and pride of what was achieved. He also pointed that the next steps will be much more difficult than the previous ones.

The official part ended with a demonstration by some members of the WAB active team. The interested audience got a spectacular insight into the training operations and also into the basics of wrestling.