TBILISI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Some 500 men and women wrestlers from 47 European countries on Tuesday started their annual championships in the Georgian capital city.
It was the first time for Tbilisi to host the European Wrestling Championships.
A total of 21 gold medals including seven for women disciplines will be distributed in the course of six days.
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is the patron of this year's European championships which feature men's freestyle and Greco-Roman style and women's wrestling.
Georgia, a traditional nation of wrestling, collected one gold, three silver and two bronze medals from last year's European championships.
Russia finished atop all participating countries at last year's championships with five gold, two silver and eight bronze medals, followed by Ukraine with a medal tally of four gold, as many silver and three bronze.
Azerbaijan and Armenia, also former Soviet republics, also won gold medals at the 2012 European championships.