Two-time world champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox is out of the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials after not making weight Friday, USA Wrestling announced.
Cox was removed from the bracket at 97 kilograms in men’s freestyle, where he was entered pending weigh-in. The 26-year-old from Columbia, Missouri, had earned a spot in the semifinals based on winning gold at 2019 worlds in a non-Olympic weight class (92 kilograms).
Cox took bronze at 86 kilograms at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and then won consecutive world titles in 2018-19 at 92. He was a three-time NCAA champion at Missouri and is considered a rising star on the American wrestling scene. He had announced a year ago that he would move from 92 to 97 kilograms for the Tokyo Olympics and was the main challenger to 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder.
The trials are being held at Dickies Arena, with 15 of the 18 winners in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and men’s Greco Roman moving on to Tokyo. The U.S. is yet to qualify for the Olympics in three weight classes.