WRESTLING: Mike Zadick receives draw for Freestyle Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Martingy, Switzerland
MARTINGY, Switzerland-American wrestler Mike Zadick is on a loaded side of the bracket at 60 kg/132 lbs. for the Freestyle Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Saturday. Zadick, a 2006 World silver medalist, is on the same side of the bracket as 2006 World gold medalist Seyed Morad Mohammadi of Iran and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yandro Quintana of Cuba. The top four finishers in each weight class in Switzerland qualify their countries for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. There are 28 wrestlers entered at 60 kilos. Zadick is scheduled to face Themis Iakovidis of Greece in the first round. If he wins, he would face either Mohammadi or Vais Tlegenov of Uzbekistan in the second round. If they both win their first two matches, Zadick and Quintana would meet in the quarterfinals. "Mike is going to have to scrap," U.S. National Coach Kevin Jackson said. "He cannot afford to look ahead in the bracket. He must beat Greece and then refocus on his next opponent. He must apply pressure and look for his attacks and scores for two minutes. His areas of concentration must be applied in this event. He's ready for the fight, I'm confident he will wrestle his best." Zadick lost to Mohammadi in the finals of the 2006 World Championships. He fell to Quintana in the finals of the 2007 Pan American Games. Zadick (Solon, Iowa/Gator WC) is trying to qualify the only remaining American freestyle weight class for the Olympics. The U.S. already has qualified in the other six freestyle divisions. If Zadick qualifies the weight class in Switzerland, he will advance to the best-of-3 finals series at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on June 13-15 in Las Vegas. 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. Entering this weekend, Turkey was 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 lost in the first round of the 2007 Worlds to eventual bronze medalist Sahit Prizreni of Albania 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. World champion Velikov qualifies Bulgaria for Olympics 2006 World champion Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria won the title at 55 kg/121 lbs. as the Freestyle Olympic Qualifying Tournament started on Friday in Martingy, Switzerland. Velikov was one of four wrestlers to qualify his weight class for the Olympics at 55 kilos. Hyo-Sub Kim of South Korea placed second, followed by Namik Sevdimov of Azerbaijan and Abbas Dabbaghi Souraki of Iran. Mehdi Taghavi Kermani of Iran won the title at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. He was followed by Serafim Barzakov of Bulgaria, Albert Batirov of Belarus and Suren Markosyan of Armenia. Competition at 60 kg/132 lbs., 84 kg/185 lbs. and 96 kg/211.5 lbs. is scheduled for Saturday in Switzerland.