By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Justin Ruiz (Orem, Utah/New York AC) will compete at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the World Olympic Games Qualifying Tourmament in Helsinki, Finland this weekend.
The competition will be held May 4-6. Ruiz weighs in on Saturday, May 5 and competes on Sunday, May 6.
This is the final qualifying event for the 2102 London Olympic Games for wrestling. At this event, an athlete must place in the top two of their weight class to qualify their nation for the London Games. Only athletes whose weights are not yet qualified for the Olympics may enter.
Ruiz has attempted to qualify the USA for the Olympic on three previous occasions, the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, the 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Florida and the 2012 World Olympic Games Qualifying Tourmament in Taiyuan, China.
Ruiz was a 2005 World bronze medalist, and has competed in the World Championships for the United States six times. He was also a 2007 Pan American Games champion. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, he was a two-time NCAA All-American for Nebraska.
The U.S. has 17 of the 18 weight classes qualified for the London Games and this is the only weight class left to be qualified. This is the most of any nation in the world at this point. The next nations in terms of athletes qualified for London are Russia and Kazakhstan with 15.
The U.S. determined 16 members of the U.S. Olympic Team during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22. A special Wrestle-off for the 60 kg/132 lbs. freestyle weight class will be held at a location and date to be determined.
If the USA does qualify at 96 kg in Greco-Roman on Sunday, a Secondary Olympic Trials will be held at a date and location to be determined, which will decide what athlete will represent the nation at the London Games at that weight class. Ruiz would wrestle 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion R.C. Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) in a best-of-three series to determine this spot.
World Olympic Games Qualifying event in Finland website
WORLD OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
at Helsinki, Finland, May 4-6
Friday, May 4
1:00-5:00 p.m. – Freestyle 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96 kg, qualification rounds and repechage
5:30-6:00 p.m. – Opening Ceremony
6:00-8:00 p.m. – Freestyle Finals 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96 kg and Awards Ceremony
Saturday, May 5
1:00-5:00 p.m. – Freestyle 120 and Greco 55, 60, 66, 74, 84 kg Qualification rounds and repechage
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. - Freestyle Finals 120 and Greco 55, 60, 66, 74, 84 kg and Awards Ceremony
Sunday May 6
1:00- 5:00 p.m. – Women’s Freestyle 48, 55, 63, 72 kg and Greco 96, 120 kg qualification rounds and repechage
6:00-8:00 p.m. – Finals Women’s Freestyle 48, 55, 63, 72 kg and Greco 96, 120 and Awards ceremony
96 kg/211.5 lbs. Greco-Roman – Justin Ruiz, Orem, Utah (New York AC)