• REUTERS

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The international wrestling governing body, United World Wresting (UWW), plans to keep its world championships in 2021, which would mark the first time the event is staged in an Olympic year, UWW's vice president said Monday.

"Such (a) move will be entirely in favor of the athletes as you can see how many events had been canceled," UWW-Europe President Tzeno Tzenov said. "There are six weight categories at the Olympics and 10 categories at the world championship, so you can see the difference.

"The wrestlers deserve their big tournament and we'll most probably see the first world championship in an Olympic year for the very first time," added Tzenov, also a long-standing general secretary, vice president and president of the Bulgarian wrestling federation.

The world championships in Oslo are scheduled to take place in early October next year, only two months after the Tokyo Games, but Tzenov said the competition in Norway could be postponed by several weeks.

"The host, the Norwegian federation, said it was ready to postpone the championship by several weeks but to organize it in 2021," he said. "The final decision will be taken later this year."

Tzenov said that UWW has decided to postpone the European Olympic qualification and the world "last chance" Olympic qualification until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European qualifier in Budapest will be staged in March 2021 while the world "last chance" qualifier in Sofia will take place in May of next year.

Tzenov said UWW can also change the dates of other events, depending on the situation around the globe, adding the world's governing body will most probably take a decision in August.

Wrestling was one of the original nine sports included in the first modern Olympics in 1896. The women's competition was added in 2004.

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