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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Bey Wins Three But Falls One Match Shy of Olympic Qualification

    The Greco-Roman portion of the World OG Qualifier came to an end from an American standpoint on Friday afternoon. Despite a great effort from Kamal Bey, the US Olympic Greco-Roman contingent finished the way it started the tournament - with three wrestlers headed to compete in Paris, France at the 2024 Olympic Games. 

    On Thursday, Bey fell in the qualification round of the 77 kg weight class. He was pulled back into repechage as Russian Sergei Kutuzov won his semifinal bout Thursday afternoon. 

    While Bey had a chance at qualifying for Paris, it was a longshot as he’d have to reel off four straight wins. 

    Bey nearly pulled off that feat as he started his journey through repechage with a 9-1 tech over Tsimur Berdyieu (AIN - Belarus). That propelled him into a contest with Sweden’s Per Olofsson. Like his first repechage bout, Bey was not significantly pushed and cruised to a 7-1 victory. 

    Next up was Georgia’s Iuri Lomadze in the bronze medal match. Lomadze was a two-time European medalist, who earned a bronze in the continental tournament earlier this year. 

    Lomadze appeared to have an early advantage as Bey was hit with passivity giving the Georgian wrestler an opportunity to work from par terre. Though Lomadze was the top wrestler, it was Bey who countered for a four-point score of his own. Lomadze’s corner challenged to no avail, which gave Bey a 5-1 lead. Late in the second period, Lomadze hit a duck-under and put the American on his back, but it was deemed a two-point hold; not four points. Bey avoided giving up a fall and escaped with a 5-4 victory. 

    With the Olympics looming in the balance, the two bronze medalists, Bey and Hungary’s Zoltan Levai squared off. An unremarkable first period ended 2-0 in favor of Levai with the scoring coming from a passivity call and Bey stepping out while avoiding a throw attempt on the ensuing par terre restart. 

    The second period started with Levai pushing the pace and controlling the center and therefore getting a second passivity point. 

    Bey wasn’t able to really get to any favorable offensive positions until the final :20 seconds of the bout when he was shooting low up into the body. Those attempts were fended off by Levai and the clock hit zero on the match and Bey’s hopes for Paris with a 3-0 loss. 

    Although women’s freestyle took place on Friday, no American women were in action because all six weights had already been qualified for the Olympics. 

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