World wrestling body approves new weight categories

United World Wrestling has made some significant changes to the sport, including the redistribution of weight classes and expansion of the competition format.

The UWW bureau adopted a moderate approach, looking to impact as few existing weight categories as possible.   -  AFP

United World Wrestling (UWW) has made some significant changes to the sport, including the redistribution of weight classes and expansion of the competition format.

The world governing body for the sport has increased the weight categories from eight to 10 in each of the three styles.

The UWW bureau adopted a moderate approach, looking to impact as few existing weight categories as possible.

As per the changes, freestyle will keep all of its current Olympic and non-Olympic weight categories and will add 79kg and 92kg. The freestyle weights for the Olympics will be 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg and 125kg while 61kg, 70kg, 79kg and 92kg will be non-Olympic weights.

Women’s wrestling will increase the lowest weight from 48kg to 50kg and slightly redistribute several weight categories, most by only one or two kilograms. The Olympic weights in this style are 50kg, 53kg, 57kg, 62kg, 68kg and 76kg while 55kg, 59kg, 65kg and 72kg are the non-Olympic weights.

Greco-Roman went through the largest shift in assignments, adjusting nearly all the weight categories. The Olympic weights are 60kg, 67kg, 77kg, 87kg, 97kg and 130kg, while the non-Olympic weights are 55kg, 63kg, 72kg and 82kg.

Now junior and under-23 wrestlers will be able to compete in senior-level weight categories.

In another major change, UWW has approved the two-day competition format for the 2018 season, commencing on January 1 next year. A two-kg allowance for the second day will be granted for one year following which the allowance will not be available from January 1, 2019.

The Olympic qualification system was also approved, with the World Championships (six), Continental qualifiers (eight) and a World Open (two) adding up to make the 16 allotments in each weight. Besides, the continental championships will be held.