World champ Brands Olympic medalist Smith among 5 added to Olympic Trials

By Gary Abbott | May 16, 2000, 12 a.m. (ET)

Two time World Champion freestyle wrestler Terry Brands (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) and 1992 Greco-Roman Olympic bronze medalist Rodney Smith (Morrow, Ga.) are among five athletes who have been added to the field for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials through the petition process.

These athletes have been added to the Challenge Tournament portion of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials. set for Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, June 22-24.

Article 3.1.6 of the 2000 Olympic Trials Procedures states the following: "Petitions into the Final Olympic Trials tournament will be limited to former World or Olympic Team members who were ill or injured and unable to compete or complete the National Championships. The injury or illness must be certified in writing by a medical doctor approved by USA Wrestling. USAW approval of medical doctor will not be unreasonably withheld."

Brands is expected to compete at 127.75 pounds. Brands won World gold medals at 125.5 pounds in 1993 and 1995, and was a member of the 1994 U.S. World team. He has won gold medals at the World Cup and the Pan American Games, as well. Brands last competed at the 1999 Freestyle World Team Trials, where he won the gold medal. He did not participate in either the 1999 Pan American Games or the 1999 World Championships due to injury.

Smith is projected to wrestle at 152 pounds. Smith won a bronze medal at 149.75 pounds at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He also placed ninth in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. Smith has not competed on the international Greco-Roman circuit since the last Olympic Games.

The other athletes added to the field include freestyle wrestlers John Giura (New York, N.Y./Dave Schultz WC) at 152 pounds and Dan St. John (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds, plus Greco-Roman wrestler Travis West (Portland, Ore./Peninsula WC) at either 167.5 pounds or 152 pounds.

Giura placed seventh in the 1989 World Freestyle Championships. He participated in the 2000 U.S. National Championships, but did not complete the tournament due to injury.

St. John was a member of the 1997 U.S. Freestyle World Team. He also participated in the 2000 U.S. National Championships, but did not complete the tournament due to injury.

West was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team. He was ranked No. 3 on the 1999-2000 Greco-Roman Team USA at 167.5 pounds, but has also competed at 152 pounds within the last year. He did not enter the 2000 U.S. Nationals.

Other athletes may also be added to the field, if they petition USA Wrestling and meet the requirements. There is no specific deadline for these petitions.

The qualification process for the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials has been completed. USA Wrestling hosted five Regional Olympic Trials events in both styles. In addition, individual champions from the Armed Forces Greco-Roman Championships also qualified. The top six freestyle and the top eight Greco-Roman placewinners in each weight class from the 2000 U.S. National Championships also qualified for the Olympic Team Trials.

U.S. OLYMPIC WRESTLING TEAM TRIALS at Dallas, Texas, June 22-24

Freestyle athletes added by petition

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Terry Brands, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye)

69 kg/152 lbs. - John Giura, New York, N.Y. (Dave Schultz WC)

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Dan St. John, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)

Greco-Roman athletes added by petition

69 kg/152 lbs. - Rodney Smith, Morrow, Ga.

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Travis West, Portland, Ore. (Peninsula WC)

Note: Others may also be added, if they petition USA Wrestling and meet eligibility requirements.