Jordan Burroughs will attempt to defend his gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after sweeping Andrew Howe to capture the freestyle 74-kilogram division at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials in Iowa City.
“He had an amazing journey,” Burroughs said after the match. “It was a repeat from the 2012 Olympic Trials, but I’m going to Rio. I’ve got to get some mosquito repellent.”
Burroughs, 27, now holds a 124–2 record in his senior career. In Rio, he looks to become the third American wrestler to defend his Olympic title and the first since John Smith accomplished the feat in 1988 and 1992.
Reigning world champion and Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder defeated reigning Olympic champion Jake Varner in the freestyle 97-kilogram finals. Snyder is set to become the youngest American to wrestle freestyle at the Olympics since 1976, according to NBC’s Nick Zaccardi.
Former Iowa Hawkeye Daniel Dennis defeated world championship fighter Tony Ramos in the freestyle 57-kilogram finals.
New York Athletic Club wrestler Robby Smith defeated Adam Coon in the Greco-Roman 130-kilograms finals and is coming off a bronze medal loss at last year's world championships.
Andy Bisek swept Geordan Speiller in the 75-kilogram division to keep Minnesota's streak of sending a Greco-Roman wrestler to the Olympics since 1968, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
In a match that lasted just 65 seconds, Adeline Gray, the two-time world champion at 75 kilograms, punched her ticket to Rio after serving as an alternate in London. She could become the first American to win a wrestling Olympic title.
Tervel Dlagnev (freestyle 125 kilograms), Elena Pirozhkova (women’s 63-kilograms) and Ben Provisor (Greco-Roman 85-kilograms) all swept their matches on Saturday to clinch spots for Rio.