USA Greco

Kamal Now Two Wins Away from Olympics

kamal bey, per albin olofsson, 2024 world olympic games qualifier
Kamal Bey -- Photo: Richard Immel

Following two big wins, Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP) is on the precipice of earning a bronze medal in Turkey but still requires two more victories for Olympic qualification.

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Day 2 of the 2024 World Olympic Games Qualifier began at 10:30am local time from Istanbul, Turkey (3:30am ET) and is streaming live on FLOWrestling.

The long road to a potential trip to Paris for Bey began in the opening round of repechage against Timur Berdiev (AIN). Speed and timing, as always, were key for Bey. Midway through the first period, Bey generated momentum towards the edge that caused Berdiev to go off-balanced and the American quickly covered for a takedown. Not long after, Berdiev was called for passivity but Bey was unable to tack on additional points.

In the second period, the passives flipped to make the score 3-1. One Berdiev turn would have put criteria in his favor, while also putting Bey in desperation mode. That is not what happened. Instead, Bey sharply timed Berdiev’s attempt to crank a gutwrench and stepped over to collect two exposure points. His lead had become 5-1. Berdiev tried to pour back into the tie-ups in hot pursuit of a scoring chance. Meanwhile, Bey smartly kept busy enough to look engaged without assuming the sort of risks for which he is known. And there was one more scoring action to be had. With the clock winding down, Berdiev — whose back was to the line — tried to clamp high over Bey for a front headlock; Bey was already steering a lefty underhook; and as Berdiev flinched to throw, Bey himself was ready to execute his own attack and landed on top to seize four more points to end the match at 9-1.

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Next up came Per Albin Olofsson of Sweden. They had met previously, way back in the ’17 Junior World semifinals. That match had included a frenetic array of scores and Bey eventually prevailed 19-7 before defeating Azkhol Makhmudov (KGZ) for gold. Just under seven years later, there would not be such a whirlwind of points available between the two — though the match did feature another example of Bey’s uncanny intuition and explosiveness.

Deep into the second period, the score was knotted at 1-1 with Olofsson owning criteria on the account of a passive point. It became apparent soon after the reset from Sweden’s par terre chance that the officials were not going to introduce a third par terre so as to allow Bey another opportunity. Thus, the onus was on Bey to somehow compel a score of any variety, while Olofsson’s lone focus resided on tying up the hands and deflecting last-gasp attempts. Less than :40 remained when Bey made his move. The pair had just broken free off of an exchange when Bey — in practically one motion — lasered forward to snare head-and-arm and walloped a headlock that was good for four points. The action made the score 5-1 for the US, and Olofsson did not threaten Bey again before the bout’s conclusion.

Two more matches are in front of Bey in order for him to qualify 77 kilograms and by extension secure a berth in the Olympic Games. First is the tournament’s bronze-medal round where he will face two-time European Championships medalist Iuri Lomadze (GEO). If Bey defeats Lomadze, he will then participate in a wrestle-off against the bronze medalist from the opposite side of the bracket.

USA Wrestling is reporting that the bronze round featuring Bey versus Lomadze is scheduled for 4:45pm local time in Istanbul (9:45am ET). FLOWrestling is carrying the live broadcast for the US audience (subscription required).

2024 World Olympic Games Qualifier

May 9-10 — Istanbul, TUR


77 kg: Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP)
WON Timur Berdiev (AIN) 9-1, TF
WON Per Albin Olofsson (SWE) 5-1


60 kg: Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP)
LOSS Viktor Petryk (UKR) 11-6

67 kg: Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP)
WON Aliaksandr Liavonchyk (AIN) 1-1 (criteria)
LOSS Andreas Vetsch (SUI) 8-1

77 kg: Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP)
LOSS Sergey Kutuzov (AIN) 8-0, TF

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Listen to “5PM57: Kamal Bey and David Stepanyan” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM56: Rich Carlson and Spencer Woods” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM55: Recapping Final X with Dennis Hall with words from Koontz, Braunagel and Hafizov” on Spreaker.

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