By David Owen

Palaestra1July 11 - The battle for a place on the 2020 Olympic sporting programme switches to one of the world's oldest arenas next week, when wrestlers from eight countries gather at Olympia for an international tournament.

Olympia, in Greece, is the birthplace of the Olympic Movement, and the event - on July 20 and 21 - will highlight the ancient roots that constitute one of wrestling's most compelling arguments for staying on the Olympic programme, in preference to rivals squash and baseball-softball.

Only one of this trio will make it to the 2020 Summer Games in Istanbul, Madrid or Tokyo, with the decision to be taken by the full membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Buenos Aires on September 8.

Male and female wrestlers from Albania, Brazil, Germany, Britain, Greece, Iran, Russia and the United States will compete in the tournament, which will be run under new rules passed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) in May.

The finals will be staged at the International Olympic Academy and streamed via FILA's Facebook page.

Wrestlers from around the world will gather in ancient Olympia to save Olympic WrestlingWrestlers from around the world will gather in ancient Olympia to participate in a Senior International Tournament

FILA said wrestlers would have the opportunity to walk the grounds of Ancient Olympia, including the Palaestra (pictured top) and the Stadium – both locations of particular significance for the sport; youth wrestlers will take part in an exhibition at the Palaestra.

Nenad Lalovic, FILA's President, said the sport was looking forward to "returning to our roots" with the special event.

"We want our wrestlers to reach back and feel what those special athletes on the fields of Olympia did those many years ago when our sport helped start the Olympic Games," Lalovic added.

Wrestlers such as Milo of Croton are still acknowledged as great Olympians 25 centuries after the exploits that first turned them into living legends.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2013: FILA and broadcaster meet to map out a way forward for Olympic wrestling
June 2013: Nenad Lalovic - Why Olympic Day matters even more than ever this year to wrestling
May 2013: Baseball-softball, squash and wrestling shortlisted for 2020 Olympics
May 2013: Boost for wrestling ahead of crucial IOC presentation as it tops insidethegames poll
May 2013: Lalovic officially elected President of FILA as wrestling begins modernisation process