Two female wrestlers have punched their ticket to Rio. Adeline Gray (75kg) and Elena Pirozhkova (63kg) rolled their way through the US Olympic Trials this past weekend in Iowa City, Iowa. Pirozhkova won her 16 woman tournament, sweeping their two out of three match finals. She won gold at the 2012 World Championships before heading to the Olympics that year. The Russian born wrestler defected with her parents at age 3, and is one of the top ranked wrestlers on the planet. Her pinning of Erin Clodgo was ironic in the fact Clodgo earned the quota spot winning the Pan-Am Games 63kg championship.
On the other hand, Gray won at the 2015 World Championships at 75kg (her third title) and was able to bypass the tournament altogether. She faced tournament winner Victoria Francis for the Olympic team spot. She was able to defeat Francis in two straight matches.
Four other tournaments happened in which the winners will have to earn their spots in the Olympics in international competition.
- 58kg – Kelsey Campbell swept Alli Ragan 2-0 in their best out of three. Both by decision
- 69kg – Tamyra Mensah socred back to back 8-1 decision victories over Brittney Roberts
- 48kg – In a back and forth final, Haley Augello edged out Victoria Anthony 2 matches to one
- 53 kg – Helen Maroulis tech falled Whitney Conder twice to win her tournament
The four will have two chances to head to the Olympics by placing first or second in the upcoming World Qualification Tournaments. One will happen in Mongolia April 22–24 and the other in Turkey May 6–8.
MMA fighters who were in US Olympic qualification tournaments this past weekend in Iowa included InvictaFC vets Sharon Jacobson and Randi Miller, as well as amateur prospect Alesha Zappitella.
Zappitella’s only two losses were to former Olympian Clarissa Chun, as Alesha pinned her opponents in two of her three wins in the 48kg tournament.
Olympic Bronze medalist Miller would make it to the championship semi-finals, but would lose to Brittney Roberts. Miller would win the rest of her matches to take third in the 69kg weight class.
Jacobson would go 1-2 on the day in the 48kg tournament.
We will have continuing coverage of US Olympic trials in the coming weeks including boxing, judo, Tae Kwan Do, and wrestling.