J’den Cox, a 2016 Olympic wrestling bronze medalist and two-time world champion, is out of the U.S. Olympic Trials after missing weight on Friday morning, according to USA Wrestling.
Cox was removed from the 97kg freestyle bracket. He would have had a bye into Friday night’s challenge tournament semifinals in Fort Worth, Texas.
Cox filed an appeal with USA Wrestling. Its status was uncertain as of Friday night.
“We’re not giving up,” Cox’s coach, Kevin Jackson, texted Friday morning, according to Flowrestling. “Working on it.”
MORE: Olympic Wrestling Trials broadcast schedule | Results
Cox, on a winning streak of more than 20 matches dating to 2018, was expected to reach Saturday’s finals for a showdown with Olympic champion Kyle Snyder, who has a bye into the best-of-three finals.
Cox, who took 86kg bronze in Rio after his coach all but begged him to enter the 2016 Olympic Trials, won the world championships in 2018 and 2019 at 92kg, which is not an Olympic weight class. In the latter, he became the second U.S. man to win an Olympic or world title without surrendering a point in more than 30 years.
In February 2020, less than two months before the originally scheduled Trials, Cox made a surprise announcement. Rather than go back down to his Rio Olympic weight of 86kg, he was moving up to 97kg to challenge Snyder.
Snyder became the youngest U.S. wrestler to win a world title in 2015 at age 19 and an Olympic title in 2016.
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