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Gable Steveson withdraws from world wrestling championships

Gable Steveson

CHIBA, JAPAN - AUGUST 06: Gable Dan Steveson of Team United celebrates defeating Geno Petriashvili of Team Georgia during the Men’s Freestyle 125kg Gold Medal Match on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Makuhari Messe Hall on August 06, 2021 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson told USA Wrestling that he will not compete at the world championships from Sept. 16-17 in Belgrade, Serbia.

No additional details were provided in a USA Wrestling press release.

Steveson, 23, will be replaced in the 125kg freestyle field by Mason Parris, the second-ranked American at the weight.

In April, Steveson announced that he was ending a year-plus retirement from competition. In March 2022, he left his shoes on the mat — the sport’s symbolic act of retirement — following repeating as NCAA heavyweight champion for the University of Minnesota.

Steveson returned to win April’s U.S. Open, then swept Parris in a best-of-three series in June to make the world championships team.

Then, Steveson said he was “glad to be on the world team” and “hopefully in for 2024.”

“Winning the Olympics is not an easy task, and winning it in 2024 is not going to be an easy task either,” he said after beating Parrs. “It’s going to be harder than it was before.”

After that, Steveson made his WWE debut at the NXT Great American Bash on July 30, two years after signing an NIL deal with the company after the Tokyo Games.

In the past, world medalists at Olympic weights in the year before the Games received byes into the finals at Olympic Trials. USA Wrestling has not announced whether that will be the case again for 2024.

In the Tokyo Olympic final, Steveson beat reigning world champion Geno Petriashvili of Georgia with a takedown in the final second to become the second-youngest U.S. wrestling gold medalist in history at age 21.

He joined Bruce Baumgartner, a star of the 1980s and ‘90s, as the lone U.S. men to win an Olympic freestyle super heavyweight title.

The U.S. team for worlds — Sept. 16-24 — is headlined by Olympic gold medalists David Taylor, Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis.