Russian wrestlers again gold threats

July 25, 2008 at 12:28 PM
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BEIJING, July 25 (UPI) -- Wrestling

Gold medals to be awarded: 18

Dates of competition: Aug. 12-21

Wrestling has been around since the ancient Olympics and is bigger than ever these days.

Women's freestyle wrestling was added to the Games in Athens and there will be action in four women's weight classes this year.

There are seven weight classes for men in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. The difference is that in Greco-Roman, a wrestler may not attack his opponent below the waist.

One of the biggest upsets in Olympic history occurred in Greco-Roman wrestling in 2000, when American Rulon Gardner won the gold-medal match in the super-heavyweight division against Russian Aleksandr Karelin.

Karelin had not lost in 13 years and had a 59-0 record in Olympic and world championship competition. Retiring IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch showed up in anticipation of giving Karelin the gold medal but it went to Gardner, who this year will be working as a television analyst.

Russia led the way with five wrestling gold medals in Athens.

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