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U.S. qualifies fewest Olympic wrestlers since 1952

Tamyra Mensah

IOWA CITY, IOWA - APRIL 09: Tamyra Mensah and Brittney Roberts compete in the Women’s 69kg championship match on day 1 of the Olympic Team Wrestling Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on April 9, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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The U.S. has failed to qualify wrestlers in four classes for Rio, ensuring it will send its smallest wrestling team to the Olympics since 1952.

The U.S. has qualified in 13 of 18 classes across men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman with a chance Sunday to earn one more place at the final Olympic qualifying tournament.

The U.S. has not sent fewer than 16 wrestlers to the Olympics since 1952, when it didn’t send a Greco-Roman team to the Helsinki Games. In that span, the U.S. had never failed to qualify more than two classes at one Olympics.

Greco-Roman Olympic Trials champions Joe Rau and RaVaughn Perkins failed to make the finals of a last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey on Friday, or finish in the top three of another Olympic qualifying tournament in Mongolia in April.

Freestyle Olympic Trials champions Kelsey Campbell and Tamyra Mensah failed to make the finals of either Olympic qualifying tournament, ending their Rio hopes.

Frank Molinaro will try to round out the U.S. Olympic wrestling team in Turkey by making the freestyle 65kg finals on the last day of competition Sunday.

The U.S. has won more Olympic wrestling medals than any other nation, including at least one gold medal at every Olympics since 1972 (excluding the boycotted Moscow 1980 Games).

The U.S. will for the first time send four reigning World champions to the Olympics in Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder, Adeline Gray and Helen Maroulis.

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