Greco-Roman wrestling at Universiades
Greco-Roman competitions were first included in the programme of the 1973 World University Summer Games. The second time it appeared at Universiades was in 1977. Next time Greco-Roman competitions were held during the 1981 Summer Universiade, and the last edition of the Universiade Greco-Roman competitions took place in 2005 in Izmir.
Freestyle wrestlers of the Russian Empire never competed at international competitions. Soviet athletes made their first appearance at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, where they claimed one silver and two gold medals. Since then our freestyle wrestlers have put 46 gold, 19 silver and 15 bronze medals into Team Russia's collection. Two silver medals were earned by female wrestlers Gyuzel Manyurova (Athens 2004) and Alena Kartasheva (Beijing 2008).
The USSR Wrestling Federation joined the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) only in 1947. And five years later Soviet athletes debuted in the Helsinki Olympics and took first places in Greco-Roman wrestling events.
Judging by the overall Olympic results starting with the very first in Athens in 1896 to the most recent in Beijing in 2008, the Soviet-Russian Greco-Roman wrestling school's superiority is undeniable. The Russian and Soviet wrestlers won 41 gold, 24 silver and 17 bronze medals. For reference, second-placed Finland boasted a total of 20 gold, 19 silver and 18 bronze medals.
In the past few years Kazan has hosted national freestyle wrestling championships twice. The men's wrestling championship was held here in 2009, and in 2006 the Sports Palace welcomed the women's Russian freestyle wrestling championship. Another sporting event worth mentioning is the 2003 Summer Spartakiade freestyle wrestling competition which took place in the same Sports Palace. That event was the most successful one for representatives of Tatarstan's freestyle wrestling in the past few years. Dmitry Arzamasov became a champion, while female wrestlers Alena Degtyareva and Elena Kulmina took silver and bronze respectively. Although, Alena later moved from freestyle wrestling to judo.
Tatarstan's wrestlers joined the Soviet Greco-Roman wrestling elite only in the mid-1970s.
Speaking about large competitions that took place in Kazan, we should mention Greco-Roman events that were held as part of the 1st Summer Spartakiade of School Students in 2003. Future star wrestlers – Vyacheslav Dzhaste, Zaur Kuramagomedov, Ibragim Labazanov, Anzor Totrov – were among the winners of those competitions that were held in the Sports Palace, which hosted the national championship among adult athletes six years later.
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