The first Olympic quotas were decided today at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships. In terms of qualification, the top six athletes in the men’s Greco-Roman -67kg, -87kg and -97kg events qualified their nation to the Olympics. The World Championships is currently being held in Nur-Sultan (formally Astana), Kazakhstan from September 14th to September 22nd 2019.
The men’s Greco-Roman -67kg came down to the defending champion, Artem Surkov of Russia and Cuba’s Ismael Borrero, the 2016 Olympic champion in the -59kg. After some growing pains where he lost in the round of 16 in 2018 Borrero has made the proper adjustments to his new weight class where he added a World Championship gold along with a Pan American Games gold to his 2019 collection by defeating Surkov 3-1. The bronze medals were won by Serbia’s Mate Nemes and Germany’s Frank Stabler. Also winning quotas for their nations were Denmark’s Fredrik Bjerrehuus and Egypt’s Mohamed Ibrahim El-Sayed.
Ukraine’s Zhan Beleniuk also capped off a great 2019 where he won gold at the European Championships and European Games by upgrading his 2018 silver medal to gold by defeating Hungary’s Viktor Lorincz 2-1 in the men’s Greco-Roman -87kg. Beleniuk will be hoping to add an Olympic gold medal to his collection after winning silver in 2016. The bronze medals were won by Germany’s Denis Kudla and Uzbekistan’s Rustam Assakalov whom defeated Belarus’ Mikalai Stadub and Kyrgyzstan’s Atabek Azisbekov respectively. The four also qualified their nation to the Olympics.
The men’s Greco-Roman -97kg ended in an anticlimactic way despite two of the best wrestlers in the event facing off. Defending Olympic champion Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia had to withdraw due to a rib injury sustained during the semi-finals. This allowed the defending World champion Musa Evloev of Russia to successfully hold his title. The bronze medalists were Serbia’s Mikheil Kajaia and Turkey’s Cenk Ildem while Georgia’s Giorgi Melia and Poland’s Tadeusz Michalik also qualified their nations to the Olympics.
The next opportunity for nations to qualify in these events will be at their respective continent qualifiers. The World Championships continue tomorrow with Olympic quotas being awarded in the men’s Greco-Roman -60kg, -77kg and -130kg.