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Bunch, Metcalf set to compete in FILA Pan American Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament

Shawn Bunch and Brent Metcalf will take aim at qualifying the final two freestyle spots for the United States for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Bunch and Metcalf will be the lone U.S. freestyle entries at the FILA Pan American Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament, set for March 23-25 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.

Bunch made the 2009 U.S. World Team at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Metcalf made the 2010 U.S. World Team at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

The top two finishers at each weight class will qualify their country for the 2012 Olympic Games, set for this August in London, England. There will be no true second-place matches, so the two wrestlers that advance to the finals will qualify their countries for the Olympics.

The Pan American countries can only enter athletes in weight classes where they have not qualified for the Olympics. The U.S. has qualified in 5-of-7 weight classes for the Olympics in freestyle. Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela have qualified for the Olympics in one freestyle weight class apiece.

Wrestlers who finished in the top six at the 2011 World Championships qualified their country for the Olympics in the weight class they competed in.

The U.S. has already qualified for the Olympic Games in freestyle at 55 kg/121 lbs., 74 kg/163 lbs., 84 kg.185 lbs., 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Cuba has qualified for the Olympics at 66 kilos, Puerto Rico has qualified at 60 kilos and Venezuela at 74 kilos.

Tickets for this event are $25 for all sessions and $15 per day for adults. Tickets for youth ages 6-18 are $15 for all sessions and $10 per day. Children five and under will be admitted for free.

Two more Olympic Games qualifiers will be held after the Pan American qualifier.

The first will be in Taiyuan, China on April 27-29 and the second in Helsinki, Finland on May 4-6.

March 23-25, Kissimmee, Fla.

60 kg/132 lbs. – Shawn Bunch, Columbus, Ohio (Gator WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC)


Friday, March 23
1-5 p.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage: Greco Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg).
6-8 p.m. – Finals

Saturday, March 24
1-5 p.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage: Greco-Roman (120 kg), women’s freestyle (48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg), freestyle (55 kg).
6-8 p.m. – Finals

Sunday, March 25
1-5 p.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage: Freestyle (60 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg, 120 kg)
6-8 p.m. – Finals
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