| Jesse Thielke celebrates after his semi-final win at the 2nd World
Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Dr. Fred Roberto.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion at 59 kg/130 lbs. solidified his place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by earning a silver medal at the 2nd World Olympic Games Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey.
Athletes needed to place in the top two of their weight class to qualify their nation to compete at the Olympic Games. Thielke accomplished this task over a stout field of international competitors itching for an Olympic berth.
The 23-year-old battled his way to the finals in Istanbul by impressively winning four bouts over world class competitors.
Thielke opened with a pair of decisive wins over 2012 Olympic medalists Peter Modos of Hungary, 8-0, and Revaz Lashkhi of Georgia, 13-6. In the quarterfinals, he picked up a second period fall over Frunze Harutyunyan of Sweden while trailing 4-2 at the time of the fall.
In his crucial semifinal match, Thielke scored an impressive 17-8 technical fall over 2014 World University bronze medalist and 2012 World University champion Donior Islamov of Moldova to clinch Olympic qualification.
Theilke fell to six-time World champion and reigning Olympic champion Hamid Soryan of Iran in the gold medal match, 8-0, to settle for silver, but the ultimate goal of Olympic qualification was accomplished.
Resultant of his performance in Istanbul over the weekend, Thielke became the 13th and final member of the U.S. Olympic Team and the fourth Greco-Roman athlete to qualify for the Games.
Thielke was a member of the 2013 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team that competed at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary where he finished eighth in the World at 60 kg.
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