Background Better understanding of the incidence, characteristics, predisposing factors and mechanisms of injuries in each sport helps to implement more effective preventive measures to better care for the athletes.
Objective The purpose of this study was to assess the injury profile of elite senior wrestlers in men's Greco-Roman, men's freestyle, and women's freestyle wrestling during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Design Descriptive epidemiologic study.
Participants 352 senior qualified wrestlers participated in 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Interventions A web-based injury database system developed by UWW was used to collect the injury data during all wrestling competitions of the Games.
Main Outcome Measurements Included athlete's demographic, weight category, injury type, severity, location, timing, and mechanism.
Results A total of 352 athletes sustained 22 injuries during 410 matches, which is equivalent to an overall incidence of 6.2 injuries per 100 athletes (7.1% in men; 4.4% in women; P=0.31) and 5.4 injuries per 100 matches. Among the three styles, women's freestyle had the lowest injury rate (22.7%); men's freestyle and men's Greco-Roman sustained an injury rate of 36.4% and 40.9% respectively. More injuries were observed in the middleweight categories. The most common injury type was skin laceration and contusion (54.5%) due to direct contact, and the most common site of injury was forehead (36.4%). In sum, 54.5% of all injuries were categorized as light, 27.3% as mild and 18.2% as severe. Four bouts were terminated due to an injury.
Conclusions No serious and catastrophic injury was recorded during wrestling competitions of 2016 Olympic Games, and most injuries were minor. The rate of wrestling injuries during 2016 Rio Games (6.2% per athlete) were lower than 2012 London (12%) and 2008 Beijing (9.3%) Olympic Games. Higher education, improvements in wrestling regulations and more attention to wrestler's health care during recent years might explain this difference.