85 USA Wrestlers Gear Up for Epic Olympic Qualification Showdown as Trials Loom

Published 09/29/2023, 1:39 PM EDT

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The 2023 World Wrestling Championships were full of excitement. It saw the American wrestlers bring home four gold medals, three silver medals, and seven bronze medals. Although it was an improvement from last year, when the US lost the top position on the medal table to Japan, however, in a year with Olympic qualification up for grabs, the competition is far from over.

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The US wrestling paragons inspired hope with their impressive track record while going into the competition in Belgrade. Some of them made a leap for the 90-point quota, and while some succeeded, many did not. Now, the competition has entered a new stage as 85 athletes have qualified for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Wrestling. So who will secure their ticket to Tokyo 2024?

85 wrestlers in the quest for Olympic qualification

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USA Wrestling stated on September 28 that they had confirmed 29 freestyle wrestlers each in the men’s freestyle events and the Greco-Roman, and 27 wrestlers in the women’s freestyle events. These 85 athletes will take part in adrenaline-pumping team trials for an Olympic qualification. The Penn State arena will be hosting the trials between April 19-20. These 85 wrestlers from across the country will battle it out for a chance to secure their ticket to Paris. The federation has also announced the list of all the athletes who have advanced to the finals of the trials by virtue of winning their events at the World Championships.

These athletes have won 2023 Senior World medals in events belonging to the Olympic weight class. This has proffered them with the advantage of only competing in the best-of-three Final X championship series at the end. The four men’s freestyle wrestlers who have won this advantage are Kyle Dake (74 kg), Kyle Snyder (97 kg), David Taylor (86 kg), and Mason Parris (125 kg). Among the women’s freestyle wrestling icons, Helen Maroulis (57 kg), Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg), and Adeline Gray (76 kg) have also secured their spots in the Final X championship series. But there are also those who have won a 2023 Senior World medal but do not have this same advantage.

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Wrestlers with non-Olympic weight class

USA Wrestling also mentioned the Olympic qualification criteria for the medal winners in a non-Olympic weight class. Instead of a bye into the finals at the trials, they will have to earn their way through the semi-final round. However, there is one more caveat involved. These wrestlers will have to compete in an Olympic weight class that will either be above or below their weight class. Vito Arujau (134.4 lbs), Zain Retherford (154.3 lbs), Zahid Valencia (202.8 lbs), Jacarra Winchester ( 121.2 lbs), Jennifer Page (130.03 lbs), Macey Kilty (143.3 lbs), and Amit Elor ( 158.7 lbs) now have a huge decision ahead of them.

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However, this is in no way the final list of wrestlers for the Olympic trials. Many wrestlers are looking forward to earning their Olympic qualification at the upcoming competitions. These are the U23 World Championships and the Bill Farrell Memorial International. The former is scheduled for October 23-29, while the latter comes on November 17-18. With less than 302 days left for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the US’ contention is slowly taking shape.

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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja

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Anchal Ahuja is a sports author for Essentially Sports. She is a skilled writer who has a vast knowledge of different sports and is now delved into the US Sports Arena. Anchal has chased her dream and followed her passion to become a pro writer.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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