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|UPDATE: Ruiz drops opening bout at final World Olympic Games Qualifier in Finland|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Justin Ruiz (Orem, Utah/New York AC) dropped his opening bout at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the World Olympic Games Qualifying Tourmament in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday. This is the final qualifying event where athletes can qualify their nation for the Olympic Games at their weight.
Ruiz was beaten by 2009 World Champion Balasz Kiss of Hungary in the first round, 1-3, 0-1.
Kiss was a 2010 World Cup champion and placed second in the 2008 World University Championships.
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.
Kiss was defeated in the next round by Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu of Romania, eliminating Ruiz from the repechage rounds.
The two athletes who qualified their nations for the Olympic Games at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman by reaching the finals were Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu of Romania and David Vala of the Czech Republic.
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 the Univ. of Nebraska.
The U.S. has 17 of the 18 weight classes qualified for the London Games. The qualifying process in all weight classes in now complete, and the United States has qualified the most wrestlers for the London Olympic Games in the entire world. The nation with the next most qualifiers is Russia with 16.
The U.S. determined the members of the U.S. Olympic Team in 16 qualified weights during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in Iowa City, Iowa, April 21-22. A Special Wrestle-off will be held for the 60 kg/132 lbs. weight class in men’s freestyle.
Website for the World Olympic Games Qualifying Tourmament in Helsinki, Finland
Finnish Wrestling Federation results website for event
WORLD OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
At Helsinki, Finland, May 6
U.S. Greco-Roman performance so far
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Justin Ruiz, Orem, Utah (New York AC)
LOSS Balasz Kiss (Hungary), 1-3, 0-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. Greco-Roman results
Gold - Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu (Romania)
Silver - David Vala (Czech Republic)
Bronze – Davi Jose Albino (Brazil)
Bronze – Sergii Rutenko (Ukraine)
5th – Mindaugas Ezerskis (Lithuania)
5th – Robert Avanesyan (Israel)
Qualified nations from Sunday’s competition
Greco-Roman 96 kg finalists
Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu of Romania
David Vala of the Czech Republic.
Greco-Roman 120 kg finalists
Guram Pherselidze of Georgia
Khasan Baroev of Russia
Women’s 48 kg finalists
Mayelis Caripa of Venezuela
Irini Merlini of Ukraine
Women’s 55 kg finalists
Jackeline Renteria of Colombia
Joyce Da Silva of Brazil
Women’s 63 kg finalists
Anastasia Grigorjeva of Latvia
Monika Michalak of Poland
Women’s 72 kg finalists
Cinthiya Vescan of France
Maider Unda of Spain