USA Wrestling's attempt to petition 132-pound freestyle wrestler Mike Zadick's way into the Olympic games apparently failed Monday when the sport's international governing body granted seven wild-card spots to China.
Zadick was a silver medalist in the 2006 world championships but, based on recent performances that included several failed attempts in international qualifiers, the United States did not qualify for Beijing at Zadick's weight.
Team USA qualified in all four weight classes in women's wrestling and six of seven weights in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, but missed out at 132 pounds in both Greco-Roman and freestyle. Russia is the only country with the maximum 18 wrestlers, 14 men and four women.
USA Wrestling, which regulates amateur wrestling in the country, expected to hear from international governing body FILA by no later than Monday if it had gained the 132-pound wild card but, as of that night, it had not.
Additionally, FILA posted on its Web site for the first time Monday what it called the final list of Olympic qualifiers, with all seven wild cards going to host China.
Based on what FILA said was the end of the selections for Beijing, 66 female wrestlers from 30 countries will wrestle in the Olympics. In freestyle, 136 wrestlers qualified from 43 countries and 135 wrestlers from 41 countries qualified in Greco-Roman.
The Olympic wrestling competition will be Aug. 12-21.
Because the United States could not qualify at Zadick's weight in multiple tournaments this year, USA Wrestling officials knew there was only a remote chance of getting a wild card.
Zadick, a three-time NCAA all-American at Iowa, won the U.S. Olympic trials in Las Vegas on Saturday by beating Shawn Bunch in a three-match finals. But the title is largely ceremonial because Zadick, barring any unforeseen developments, cannot wrestle in Beijing.
Zadick's brother, Bill, a 2006 world champion and a former NCAA champion at Iowa, also missed out on Beijing when he lost consecutive matches to top-seeded Doug Schwab in the 145 1/2-pound finals. Schwab also beat Bill Zadick in the U.S. nationals in April, after Bill Zadick missed most of the 2007 wrestling season with injuries.