Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during the wrestling competition

A roadmap to follow for the wrestling competition at the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Hassan Yazdani, Iran: Nicknamed “The Greatest,” Yazdani was a gold medalist at 74 kilograms in 2016. He lost to David Taylor in the gold medal match in the 86-kilogram division in Tokyo. Taylor isn’t competing in Paris, possibly clearing a way for Yazdani to return to the top.

—Taha Akgul, Turkey: A 2016 gold medalist, Akgul was among those who lost to American Gable Steveson at the Tokyo Games. He beat Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili, the silver medalist in Tokyo, at the European Championships earlier this year. With Steveson not returning, Akgul could emerge victorious in the 125-kilogram class.

—Kennedy Blades, United States. The dynamic 20-year-old beat Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray at the U.S. trials and is competing in the women’s 76-kilogram freestyle division.

—Helen Maroulis, United States. She is aiming to become the first American women’s wrestler to win three Olympic medals. She won gold in 2016 and bronze in Tokyo and is competing in the 57-kilogram division in Paris.

Storylines to Follow

—Who will be the men’s heavyweight champion in freestyle? Steveson won at age 21, then left for pro wrestling and didn’t participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials. That leaves the class wide open.

—New faces: None of the three U.S. gold medalists from Tokyo return. Taylor lost to Aaron Brooks in the trials and Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Steveson did not attempt to qualify.

—Zhan Beleniuk, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, won gold in Tokyo and is aiming to win again.

Key Dates

Competition stars Aug. 5 and gold medal matches are scheduled from Aug. 7-11.

Reigning Champions

Men’s Freestyle

57 kg: Zaur Uguev, Russia.

65 kg: Takuto Otoguro, Japan.

74 kg: Zaurbek Sidakov, Russia.

86 kg: David Taylor, United States.

97 kg: Abdulrashid Sadulaev, Russia.

125 kg: Gable Steveson, United States.

Men’s Greco-Roman

60 kg: Luis Orta, Cuba.

67 kg: Mohammad Reza Geraei, Iran.

77 kg: Tamas Lorincz, Hungary.

87 kg: Zhan Beleniuk, Ukraine.

97 kg: Musa Evloev, Russia.

130 kg: Mijain Lopez, Cuba.

Women’s freestyle

50 kg: Yui Susaki, Japan.

53 kg: Mayu Mukaida, Japan.

57 kg: Risako Kawai, Japan.

62 kg: Yukako Kawai, Japan.

68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock, United States.

76 kg: Aline Rotter-Focken, Germany.


AP Olympics

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up