WRESTLING: Mike Zadick set to compete at Olympic Qualifying Tournament on April 19 in Martingy, Switzerland
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-U.S. National Freestyle Coach Kevin Jackson has seen Mike Zadick at the top of his game. Jackson was there when Zadick earned a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships in Guangzhou, China. Now Jackson believes Zadick is back wrestling at a similar level heading into the Freestyle Olympic Qualifying Tournament on April 19 in Martingy, Switzerland. Zadick will try to qualify the United States for the Olympics at 60 kg/132 lbs. The U.S. already has qualified in the other six freestyle weight classes. The top four finishers in each weight class in Switzerland qualify their countries for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Zadick will be in a strong 60 kilo weight class. Among the countries that have not qualified for the Olympics in that division are Cuba, Iran, Japan and Belarus. Two of the wrestlers Zadick may be battling are 2004 Olympic champion Yandro Quintana of Cuba and 2006 World champion Sayed Mohammadi of Iran."The field is extremely tough, but Mike is going over there to win the tournament,"Jackson said."He wants to make a statement to the rest of the World that he is ready to win an Olympic gold medal this year. There are a lot of quality wrestlers out there who are not qualified for the Olympics, but Mike is very determined to get the job done."Zadick is currently at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, making final preparations for the Olympic Qualifier."Mike has come into training camp for this qualifier very, very focused,"Jackson said."His skills look like they are on par with where they were two years ago when he was second at the World Championships. He is looking very good. He is as ready as I've ever seen him technically, tactically and mentally, and that includes the 2006 World Championships."This is the second-to-last Olympic Qualifying Tournament in freestyle. The final qualifier is set for May 3-4 in Poznan, Poland. Russia is the only country that has qualified all seven weight classes in freestyle for the Olympics. Turkey is the only other country besides the U.S. with six of the seven weight classes qualified. The top eight wrestlers in each weight class from the 2007 World Championships qualified their countries for the Olympics. Champions from the Continental championships, including the Pan American Championships for the U.S., also qualified their countries for Beijing. Zadick (Solon, Iowa/Gator WC) lost in the first round to eventual bronze medalist Sahit Prizreni of Albania at the 2007 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Zadick placed third at the 2008 Pan American Championships in Colorado Springs. Zadick made his first U.S. World Team in 2006 and took advantage of the opportunity by reaching the finals. He won a silver medal before his older brother, Bill, followed by winning a gold medal the following day. The U.S. has qualified 14 of 18 weight classes overall for the Olympics. The U.S. has qualified in five of the seven classes in Greco-Roman and three of the four classes in women's freestyle. Two qualifiers remain in each style. The U.S. still needs to qualify for the Olympics in Greco-Roman at 60 kg/132 lbs. and 74 kg/163 lbs. The women still need to qualify at 55 kg/121 lbs.