42 nations expected for GR Olympic Qualifier in Colorado Springs March 4 5

By Gary Abbott | Feb. 24, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

The United States will host a Greco-Roman Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 4-5. Many of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world will participate, battling for the opportunity to compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

This event is the fourth of five Greco-Roman Olympic qualifying events held across the world from January-March 2000.

The competition will be held at Sports Center I on the U.S. Olympic Complex. Admission is free. This offers an outstanding opportunity for fans to witness Olympic-calibre competition prior to the Games.

As of February 23, a total of 42 nations had confirmed participation in this important event.

The nations expected to participate (in alphabetic order) are: Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yugoslavia.

Nations are only able to enter athletes in weight classes which they did not qualify for Olympics during the 1999 Greco-Roman World Championships last fall. The athletes do not qualify themselves for the Olympic Games; rather, they are qualifying their nation to participate in that weight class.

After all five of the Olympic Greco-Roman Qualifing events are held, the points for each nation at each weight class are added up. The top three scores for each nation at each weight class are counted toward the final total. The top seven nations at each weight class from the qualifying events will qualify for the Olympic Games.

The host United States will enter athletes at five weight classes (119 pounds, 127.75 pounds, 138.75 pounds, 152 pounds and 167.5 pounds). The USA has already earned Olympic qualification berths at three weight classes (187.25 pounds, 213.75 pounds and 286 pounds).

There are two competition sessions each day. On Saturday, March 4, sessions are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. On Sunday, March 5, sessions are set for 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.