Wrestling's ties to the Olympics can be traced back to 708BC, and the time of the ancient Games. When the modern Olympics resumed in 1896, the sport became a fixture of the event, with the only exception being the 1900 Summer Olympics. It is, in fact, one of only two sports that still require participants to have amateur status to participate in the Olympics, alongside boxing.

Rules:

Each wrestling match is to be contested over two periods of three minutes, with a break of 30 seconds. Contestants are awarded points for successfully producing specific moves.

The sport is broken into two distinct categories: freestyle wrestlers and Greco-Roman wrestling. Freestyle wrestlers can use any part of their body to achieve locks, holds and takedowns, and the winner is declared when one fighter's shoulders are forced on to the mat at the same time. Alternatively, a win can be earned by gaining a 10-point advantage.

However, in the event of neither of these things being achieved in the specified timeframe, whoever has the most points is named the winner.

Under the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling, contestants can only use their arms and upper body to defend or attack. A win can be achieved by putting both of the opponent's shoulders on the mat at the same time. It can also be earned by gaining an eight-point advantage on the opponent. Again, if neither of these occurs, then the fighter with the most points is the winner.

The match is controlled by a referee and three expert judges, who are there to evaluate the referee's calls in case of a challenge from a coach.

Format:

Around 344 wrestlers are set to compete in 18 events in Rio, with the format being divided by wrestling styles and weight categories. Some 19 men or 18 women will compete in each division. The qualification rounds will reduce each competition to 16 and it will then develop into a knockout format.

Key terms:

Pin - When both shoulders of a fighter are put on the mat, thereby ending the contest.

Reversal - When one combatant manages to reverse and escape the move of his opponent.

Out of bounds - When the competitors step outside the boundary of the mat.

Athlete to watch:

Japan's Saori Yoshida has won every major competition since 1998 including three Olympic Games, four Asian Games, and 13 world championships. She is, in fact, the most decorated athlete in freestyle wrestling history and will be looking to add to her legacy in Brazil this summer.

Yoshida, 33, became the first female wrestler to be named Japanese Athlete of the Year in 2007, and she received the People's Honour Award four years ago.

Saori Yoshida
Saori Yoshida is one of the stars of the Japanese teamGetty Images

Venue:

The wrestling competition in Rio is being staged at Hall 3 of the Olympic Training Center in Barra da Tijuca.

Schedule:

14 August: Men's Greco-Roman 75 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's Greco-Roman 59 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.

15 August: Men's Greco-Roman 130 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's Greco-Roman 85 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.

16 August: Men's Greco-Roman 66 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's Greco-Roman 98 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.

17 August: Women's freestyle 48 kg, Women's freestyle 69 kg and Women's freestyle 58 kg qualifications. Women's freestyle 69 kg and Women's freestyle 58 kg Round of 16.

18 August: Women's freestyle 75 kg, Women's freestyle 63 kg and Women's freestyle 53 kg qualifications. Women's freestyle 63 kg and Women's freestyle 53 kg Round of 16.

19 August: Men's freestyle 74 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's freestyle 57 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.

20 August: Men's freestyle 86 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's freestyle 125 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.

21 August: Men's freestyle 65 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match. Men's freestyle 97 kg qualifications, Round of 16, Quarter final, Semi final and gold medal match.