2024 World Olympic Games Qualifier Brackets For Team USA

ISTANBUL, Turkey – The final draws have been released by United World Wrestling for the 2024 World Olympic Games Qualifier set for May 9-12 in Istanbul, Turkey. Team USA will be represented in five weight classes, three Greco-Roman (60 kg, 67 kg, 77 kg) and two men’s freestyle (57 kg, 65 kg), with athletes seeking a top-three finish to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Each bracket has four athletes seeded based on UWW ranking points. Kamal Bey is the only American to hold a seed, slotting in at No. 3 in the 77 kg Greco-Roman bracket.

In a slight change of format for this unique Olympic qualifying event there will be no gold medal matches wrestled. Athletes who win in the semifinals earn the Olympic quota for his or her country. Additionally, the usual repechage system will be implemented for wrestle-backs, with the twist of bronze medal winners entering a playoff for “true bronze” and the final Olympic quota.

Men’s Freestyle Outlook

Olympic Trials champions representing the U.S. in men’s freestyle are three-time age-group World champion Spencer Lee at 57 kg and 2023 World champion Zain Retherford at 65 kg.

An opening round match against Morocco’s Ben Tarik should get Lee warmed up for a critical second-round match against the No. 1 seed, Wanhao Zou of China. Zou was a U23 World bronze medalist in 2018 and has finished in the top ten at the last two World Championships.

The quarterfinal round could pit Lee against Vladimir Egorov, a former Russian wrestling for Macedonia, who was a European champion in 2022. Lee’s final test could come from any number of athletes—2021 World silver medalist Alireza Sarlak of Iran or European bronze medalist Roberti Dingashvili of Georgia being the most likely to emerge as a semifinal opponent.

Retherford received a pigtail match and will need five wins to get through the semifinal round. He starts his day against Stefan Coman of Romania, with a win sending him to face Ibrahim Guzan of Yemen. The competition picks up in the Round-of-16 with Tokyo Olympian and 2021 World bronze medalist Tulga Tumur Ochir of Mongolia projected to be waiting in the wings.

No. 3 seed Abdulmazhid Kudiev, a former Russian representing Tajikistan, could await Retherford in the quarterfinals. In 2023, Kudiev won the U23 Asian Championships and was ninth at the Senior Worlds. Past U20 and U17 World champion Umidjon Jalolov of Uzbekistan, Rio Olympian Junsik Yun of Korea and 2022 U20 World bronze medalist Sujeet Sujeet of India are possible semifinal foes for Retherford.

Follow Team USA in Turkey

The World Olympic Games Qualifier will be held at Istanbul’s Başakşehir Gençlik ve Spor Tesisleri, May 9-12. Greco-Roman will kick off the festivities on Thursday, followed by women’s freestyle on Friday and men’s freestyle on Saturday. Each style will wrestle over the course of two days. A complete schedule of events can be found below.

The U.S. audience can watch the event live on Flowrestling.com starting at 10 a.m. local time/3 a.m. (ET) each day. Brackets and real-time results will be available on UWW Arena.

For more information about the World Olympic Games Qualifier please visit the official event website at uww.org. USA Wrestling will provide complete coverage of the event on TheMat.com and its social media platforms. Join the conversation using #WrestleIstanbul.

The original post by Richard Immel can be found at: https://www.themat.com/news/2024/may/08/brackets-set-for-team-usa-at-world-olympic-games-qualifier-in-istanbul