April 2 (Reuters) - World champion J’den Cox’s hopes of winning a second Olympic wrestling medal were shattered even before the U.S. Olympic Trials started on Friday as he failed to make the 97 kilogram weight in men’s freestyle.
The 26-year-old, who won bronze in the 86 kg competition at the 2016 Rio Games before claiming world titles in 2018 and 2019, had switched to the 97 kg class in 2020.
“J’den Cox missed weight and will not compete at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” USA Wrestling said in a written statement.
“Under the rules of the event, Cox has been removed from the bracket at 97 kg in men’s freestyle, where he was entered pending weigh in... The bracket for that weight class has been adjusted.”
Cox’s failure to take part in the trials in Fort Worth, Texas came as a huge shock as the Missouri native was considered as a prime medal contender at the Tokyo Games. He had won 26 consecutive matches and was unbeaten since July 2018. (Reporting by Amy Tennery, editing by Pritha Sarkar)