Past World Champions Among US Olympians

Published June 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Past world champions Melvin Douglas, Sammie Henson and Terry Brands were among seven freestyle wrestlers who qualified for the Sydney Olympics in Dallas Saturday at the United States Olympic Trials. 

Douglas, a 1993 world champion who was seventh at the 1996 Olympics, qualified for his second consecutive US Olympic team by sweeping Dominic Black at 213.75 pounds, taking the first match 10-0 and the second by injury default. 

Henson, a 1998 world champion wrestling at 119 pounds, swept Eric Akin 4-2 and 3-2 at 8:53 in overtime. 

Brands won two over-time matchups, 3-2 at 8:14 and 5-2 in 8:55, to claim the spot at 127.75 pounds over reigning US champion Kerry Boumans. Brands returned to competition this week after a year away from the sport. 

Brands, second to eventual Olympic champion Kendall Cross at the 1996 US Olympic trials, was the only US Challenge Tournament champion to win his series and qualify for the US freestyle team. 

Two-time World medallists Cary Kolat at 138.75 pounds and Lincoln McIlravy at 152 pounds swept to become first-time Olympians. 

US champion Kerry McCoy beat reigning world Champion Stephen Neal 4-1 and 6-4 to qualify at heavyweight. McCoy also beat Neal in the US finals. 

Brandon Slay stopped Brian Dolph 5-2 and 3-1 to advance at 167.5 pounds and Charles Burton defeated Lee Fullhart. 

At 119, Steven Mays swept Atlanta silver medalist Brandon Paulson 3-0 and 5-0, avenging a loss at this year's national finals. 

At 127.75, Jim Gruenwald rallied from a 3-2 loss to defeat 1996 Olympic silver medalist and 1995 world champion Dennis Hall 3-0 and 8-3 - (AFP) 


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