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Bey gets late invitation to Olympic Games after reallocation of berths

American Kamal Bey will be going to Paris to compete in the Olympic Games.

Courtesy USA Wrestling
American Kamal Bey, who fell one win short of qualifying for the Olympic Games, at the World Olympic Games qualifier in Turkey in May, will be heading to Paris to represent the United States.

United World Wrestling (UWW) has notified USA Wrestling that Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) has received an Olympic quota berth at 77 kg in Greco-Roman. 

Bey received the bid for Paris 2024 after UWW reallocated Olympic quota spots from the vacated berths of individual neutral athletes (AIN) from Russia and Belarus. Among the 16 AIN wrestlers who were approved by the International Olympic Committee to compete in Paris, no one with a Russian passport was qualified at 77 kg in Greco-Roman, opening the slot for Bey.

An independent neutral athlete from Russia, Sergey Kutuzov, had earned an Olympic quota at 77 kg in Greco-Roman by qualifying for the finals at the World Olympic Games qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey on May 10.

Bey wrestled Kutuzov in the first match of the World Olympic qualifier in Istanbul, losing 8-0. When Kutuzov reached the finals, Bey was pulled back into repechage, and won three straight matches. In the Olympic qualification playoff match, which determined the final quota at this weight, Bey was beaten by Zoltan Levai of Hungary, 3-0. In effect, this made Bey the alternate at 77 kg from the Istanbul event for a quota berth.

“It is a great opportunity. He is motivated and has continued to train very hard. Kamal is very happy. This motivates our team. He brings an energy to the entire team. We can’t wait to get to Paris for him to show the world what he can do,” said U.S. national Greco-Roman coach Herb House.

With Bey added to the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, the United States will now have 16 wrestlers competing in the Olympic Games in Paris, the most of any nation. Included are full six-athlete teams in both men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle, and, with the addition of Bey, the USA will have four athletes competing in Greco-Roman.

Bey earned his opportunity to represent the United States in Paris by winning the 77 kg Greco-Roman title at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials at Penn State in April.

Bey will be competing in his first Olympic Games. He has wrestled in three Senior world championships (2019, 2022 and 2023), and won a U20 world gold medal in 2017. He was also a 2023 Pan American Games champion.

Bey hails from Oak Park, Ill., where he attended Oak Park-River Forest High School. He is a graduate of Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. Bey is currently a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, where he is based at Fort Carson, Colo. His rank is Specialist, and his military job is Culinary Specialist.

Bey is scheduled to compete in Paris on August 6-7, which are the competition days for Greco-Roman 77 kg in wrestling.

Content from USA Wrestling included in this report.

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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