Las Vegas chosen to host 2015 World Wrestling Championships

Thursday, 21 February 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Orleans Arena Las VegasFebruary 21 - Las Vegas will host the 2015 World Wrestling Championships, a year before what could be the sport's final appearance for a while at the Olympics unless a campaign to keep it in the Games is successful. 

Las Vegas was chsoen ahead of New Delhi, Panama City, Sochi and Tehran by the ruling Bureau of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA)

Orleans Arena, a 9,500 seat multi-purpose arena in Paradise and home to the Las Vegas Wranglers ice hockey team, will host the event, which will feature all three Olympic styles of wrestling, men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman.

"The new FILA will embrace the strengths of our sport, both our long history and our desire to continue to improve ourselves," said said Nenad Lalovic, the acting President of FILA.

The Serbian replaced Raphaël Martinetti last week following the controversial decision by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board to remove wrestling from the list of core sports after Rio 2016, putting its future in serious jeopardy.

"USA Wrestling has proven itself as one of the top national federations in the world," said Lalovic.

"We trust them with one of our most sacred and important properties, the 2015 World Championships, which is the qualifying event for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"Hosting the World Championships in Las Vegas is certainly a positive step forward in our quest to show the world the relevance of wrestling and help entrench our sport on the Olympic programme."

Las Vegas will be the sixth time the World Championships have been staged in the US, most recently at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2003, when it hosted the freestyle competition.

world wrestling championships Madison Square GardenAmerica last hosted the World Wrestling Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2003

New York City had originally been due to host the event in 2001 but it was moved to Sofia at short notice after the terrorist attacks on the city.

"USA Wrestling is excited to receive the bid to host the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas," said Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling. 

"We believe it will be a historic event for international wrestling.

"We have assembled a strong team that will ensure that the World Championships in Las Vegas will be an amazing success and will display the excitement and popularity of international wrestling worldwide."

This year's Championships ware due to be held in in Budapest while 2014 is scheduled for Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

"Las Vegas will provide a great backdrop to showcase the sport of wrestling to a worldwide audience," said Scott Blackmun, the chief executive of the United States Olympic Committee.

"We're excited to team with USA Wrestling and FILA in bringing this important event to the United States and we look forward to hosting wrestlers from all over the globe as they look to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

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