Half of Olympic Trials champs will have longer Road to Rio

Updated: April 6, 2016

A total of 18 wrestlers will leave Iowa City, Iowa, this Sunday as members of the 2016 Olympic wrestling team. Unfortunately, only half of them will have actually qualified to compete at the Rio Games, Aug. 14-22.

Before the start of this weekend’s Olympic Team Trials, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 9-10, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, only nine weight classes — 57k, 74k, 97k and 125k in men’s freestyle; 63k and 75k in women’s freestyle; and 75k, 85k and 130k in Greco-Roman — have been qualified by the United States.

Those qualifications came by either finishing in the top five at last September’s World Championships in Las Vegas or finishing among the top two at the Pan-American Qualifier, which was held in March in Frisco, Texas.

That means there are nine other weight classes where the winner of Olympic Team Trials must compete in one or both of the final two qualifying tournaments: April 22-24 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and May 6-8 in Istanbul, Turkey.

For the men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman weights, a wrestler must finish in the top three in Mongolia or top two in Turkey to qualify for Rio.

In women’s freestyle, a wrestler must finish in the top two in either event.

In cases where the wrestlers who wins the Trials is injured, another American can attempt to qualify the weight class for the United States, but must still surrender the qualifying spot to the wrestler who wins the Trials.

The following indicates whether a weight class has qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio this August. If a weight class has qualified, it indicates who and how a wrestler qualified.

Men’s Freestyle
57k/125.5 — Yes (Tony Ramos, runner-up at Pan-American Qualifier)
65k/143 — No
74k/163 — Yes (Jordan Burroughs, World champion)
86k/189.5 — No
97k/213 — Yes (Kyle Snyder, World champion)
125k/275 — Yes (Tervel Dlagnev, champion at Pan-American Qualifier)
Women’s Freestyle
48k/105.5 — No
53k/116 — No
58k/128 — No
63k/138.75 — Yes (Erin Clodgo, champion at Pan-American Qualifier)
69k/152 — No
75k/165 — Yes (Adeline Gray, World Champion)
59k/130 — No
66k/145.5 — No
75k/165 — Yes (Andy Bisek, bronze medalist at 2015 World Championships)
85k/ 187 — Yes (Jordan Holm, champion at Pan-American Qualifier)
98k/216 — No
130k/286 — Yes (Robby Smith, 5th at 2015 World Championships