The two most notable names to miss this summer’s U.S. Olympic wrestling team will return to international competition at the UWW Senior World Championships in early October.
Olympic medalists and world champions Jordan Burroughs and J’den Cox earned their spots in the Oslo, Norway, tournament with wins at USA Wrestling’s Senior World Team Trials on Sunday.
Burroughs, 33 and with his fourth child on the way, made his 10th senior World or Olympic team but first at 79kg. He moved up a weight class for the first time in his career after Kyle Dake, who beat Burroughs in the Olympic Wrestling Trials final in April, chose to compete at the 2021 Worlds, an option all Tokyo Olympic medalists were given by USA Wrestling. Dake went on to earn 74kg bronze in Tokyo.
Amassing four golds and four bronzes at world championships, plus the 2012 Olympic title, Burroughs has medaled at every Olympics or world championships he’s entered, save the Rio Olympics in 2016. He beat Alex Dieringer, a four-time UWW Ranking Series gold medalist at 79kg, in the World Team Trials finals.
The 26-year-old Cox has medaled at every Olympics or world championships in his career and will vie for a three-peat at 92kg. After taking Olympic and world bronze at 86kg in 2016 and 2017, Cox won world titles at the non-Olympic weight, then planned to challenge 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder for the Olympic 97kg spot, but missed the weigh-in deadline at Olympic Trials. Snyder will compete at the 2021 Worlds, so Cox went back down to 92kg and won the worlds berth over Kollin Moore.
Ten of the 15 Americans who competed in Tokyo will once again represent Oct. 2-10 in Oslo.
Three Tokyo Olympians lost their finals at World Team Trials: Ildar Hafizov (Greco-Roman 60kg), Alejandro Sancho (67kg), Jacarra Winchester (women’s freestyle 55kg).
Winchester, the 2019 World champion at 55kg, made it to Tokyo at 53kg and finished tied for fifth there. Jenna Burkert, the Olympic Trials runner-up at 53kg, won the first and third bouts in their 55kg final for her fourth world team.
In a battle of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program members, Dalton Roberts earned a spot on his first world team by taking down Hafizov in the second and third bouts of their best-of-three final. Peyton Omania will also make his worlds debut after taking out Sancho in straight matches.
Two Tokyo Olympians won their finals: G’Angelo Hancock (Greco-Roman 97kg), Kayla Miracle (women’s freestyle 62kg).
The following Tokyo Olympic medalists accepted the world team spots offered to them: Dake (men’s freestyle 74kg bronze), Thomas Gilman (men’s freestyle 57kg bronze), Adeline Gray (women’s freestyle 76kg silver), Sarah Hildebrandt (women’s freestyle 50kg bronze), Helen Maroulis (women’s freestyle 57kg bronze), Tamyra Mensah-Stock (women’s freestyle 68kg gold), Snyder (men’s freestyle 97kg silver), David Taylor (men’s freestyle 86kg gold).
Gable Steveson (men’s freestyle 125kg gold) declined his spot and has reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the WWE, which with the new NIL rules would also allow him to return to competition for the University of Minnesota.
John Stefanowicz (Greco-Roman 87kg) did not enter World Team Trials.
The 2021 USA Wrestling world team also includes 2019 Pan American Games gold medalist Daton Fix (61kg), 2020 Pan American champion Yianni Diakomihalis (65kg), two-time world medalist James Green (70kg) and two-time world medalist Nick Gwiazdowski (125kg) in men’s freestyle; Amy Fearnside (53kg), 2017 Junior World champion Maya Nelson (59kg), 2018 Pan American champion Forrest Molinari (65kg) and 76kg Olympic Trials runner-up Kylie Welker (72kg) in women’s freestyle; and 2020 Pan American champion Max Nowry (55kg), Sam Jones (63kg), Patrick Smith (72kg), Olympic Trials winner Jesse Porter (77kg), 2012 Olympian Ben Provisor (82kg), Alan Vera (87kg) and Olympic Trials runner-up Cohlton Schultz (130kg) in Greco-Roman.
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