USA Wrestling Postponed Olympics D...

Postponed Olympics Day 1: Tokyo Olympic wrestling would have started with three weight classes

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Aug. 02, 2020, 1:41 p.m. (ET)

Ildar Hafizov of the United States, who qualified his nation for the Olympic Games at the 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier, tosses an opponent. His weight class, 60 kg, was one of three weight classes scheduled to kick off the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo had it not be rescheduled. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

If there were no COVID-19, and if the International Olympic Committee had not postponed then rescheduled the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, today would have been the first day of the wrestling competition.

Over the next seven days, we will review the Olympic wrestling situation, covering the weight classes and athletes who would have been showcased in Tokyo on each of the days. We will look at what nations are already qualified in each weight class, and what athletes might be in line to reach the Olympics in the spots still available.

Today would have been the start of competition, with two Greco-Roman weight classes (60 kg and 130 kg), plus the first of the women’s freestyle weight classes (76 kg). Wrestling would have gone through the semifinals matches each day, setting the gold-medal pairings in each of the weight classes.

Instead of previewing the three weight classes which start each day, we will instead give an update on those weight classes on the day that their medal matches are held. That means we will review 60kgGR, 130kgGR and 76kgW on Monday.

The USA is qualified right now in two of those weight classes scheduled for day one, with the athletes who qualified the weight classes being Adeline Gray (76kgW) and Ildar Hafizov (60kgGR). The U.S. athlete in each qualified weight class will not be determined until the Olympic Team Trials in April 2021.

Here is what we know about the 2020 Olympic wrestling event right now. Only half of the Olympic field has been determined at this time. The top six athletes from the 2019 World Championships have secured a spot for their nation at each weight class. The only Continental Olympic Games qualifier held before COVID-19 was the Pan American Qualifier, held in Canada in early March, which produced two more qualifiers. Each weight class will have 16 athletes, and we know the first eight at this point.

Still to be held are the European Olympic Qualifier, the Asian Olympic Qualifier, the African/Oceania Olympic Qualifier and the Last Chance Olympic Qualifier. Each of those tournaments, which will be held in 2021, will produce two more qualifiers each.

The United States leads all nations with 15 weight classes qualified, with Cuba (12), Russia (9) and host Japan plus Kazakhstan (8) next in total qualified berths. The USA has only one more chance to gain the three missing weights, the Last Chance Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria in late April 2021. The weights that the USA have not qualified are 65 kg men’s freestyle, 77 kg Greco-Roman and 130 kg Greco-Roman).

For those who want to look ahead to the 2021 Games, the wrestling competition will be held in the same venue as it was scheduled for in 2020, Makhuari Messi Hall. The actual date is only one day off (in 2020 it was August 2-8, in 2021 it is August 1-7). The competition schedule, which determines which weight classes compete on a given day, is exactly as it was planned for 2020. In short, the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee have pushed wrestling back one full year back, with everything following the same plan.

Now all we need to do is finish the qualifying events, select the USA team, and keep our fingers crossed that the COVID-19 situation has improved enough that conditions will allow the Olympic wrestling tournament to be held.

Updated Olympic Qualification by nation, all styles
(as of March 15, 2020)

United States, 15 (50kgW, 53kgW, 57kgW, 62kgW, 68kgW, 76kgW, 60kgGR, 67kgGR, 87kgGR, 97kgGR, 57kgFS, 74kgFS, 86kgFS, 97kgFS, 125kgFS)
Cuba, 12 (60 kgGR, 67kgGR, 77 kgGR, 87 kgGR, 97kgGR, 130kgGR, 50kgW, 53kgW, 68kgW, 65kgFS, 74kgFS, 97kgFS)
Russia, 9 (60kgGR, 67kgGR, 97kgGR, 50kgW, 57kgFS, 65kgFS, 74kgFS, 86kgFS, 97kgFS)
Japan, 8 (60kgGR, 50kgW, 57kgW, 62kgW, 68kgW, 76kgW, 65kgFS, 74kgFS)
Kazakhstan, 8 (60kgGR, 77kgGR, 50kgW, 76kgW, 57kgFS, 65kgFS, 74kgFS, 97kgFS)
Iran, 6 (60kgGR, 77kgGR, 130kgGR, 57kgFS, 86kgFS, 125kgFS)
Germany, 5 (67kgGR, 87kgGR, 130kgGR, 68 kgW, 76kgW)
China, 5 (50kgW, 53kgW, 57kgW, 76kgW, 125kgFS)
Ukraine, 5 (60kgGR, 87kgGR, 50kgW, 68kgW, 125kgFS)
Canada, 4 (68kgW, 76kgW, 97kgFS, 125kgFS)
Hungary, 4 (77kgGR, 87kgGR, 62kgW, 65kgFS)
India, 4 (53kgW, 57kgFS, 65kgFS, 86kgFS)
Georgia, 4 (97kgGR, 130kgGR, 97kgFS, 125kgFS)
Poland, 4 (97kgGR, 53 kgW, 57kgW, 74 kgFS)
Turkey, 4 (97kgGR, 130kgGR, 57kgFS, 125kgFS)
Brazil, 3 (130kgGR, 62kgW, 76kgW)
Colombia, 3 (57kgFS, 86kgFS, 67kgGR)
Serbia, 3 (67kgGR, 97kgGR, 57kgFS)
Sweden, 3 (77kgGR, 63kgW, 68kgW)
Uzbekistan, 3 (60 kgGR, 77kgGR, 87kgGR)
Azerbaijan, 2 (50kgW, 97kgFS)
Armenia, 2 (77kgGR, 97kgGR)
Belarus, 2 (87kgGR, 57kgW)
Estonia, 2 (130kgGR, 76kgW
Kyrgyzstan, 2 (87kgGR, 62kgW)
Mexico, 2 (77kgGR, 57kgW)
Mongolia, 2 (68kgW, 65kgFS)
North Korea, 2 (53kgW, 62kgW)
Argentina, 1 (65kgFS)
Bulgaria, 1 (62kgW)
Chile, 1 (130kgGR)
Denmark, 1 (67kgGR)
Egypt, 1 (67kgGR)
Greece, 1 (53kgW)
Italy, 1 (74kgFS)
Kosovo, 1 (125kg)
Moldova, 1 (57kgW)
Nigeria, 1 (57kgW)
North Macedonia, 1 (97kgFS)
Peru, 1 (86kg FS)
Puerto Rico, 1 (74kgFS)
Romania, 1 (50kgW)
San Marino, 1 (86kgFS
Switzerland, 1 (86kgFS)
Syria, 1 (125kgFS)