UPDATE #3: Cox will wrestle for the bronze medal Saturday afternoon after losing by the slightest of margins to Yasar. He fell 2-1, seemingly scoring a takedown about a second after the final whistle.
FINAL: Cox loses in the semis to Yasar (Turkey), 2-1, after a failed challenge. He will wrestle for bronze in the afternoon session.— #TigerStyle (@MizzouWrestling) August 20, 2016
Tough way for cox to lose. Neither wrestler scored a takedown. Cox came close several times & appeared to have one a half-second too late— Blake Toppmeyer (@btoppmeyer) August 20, 2016
UPDATE #2: SEMIFINALIST. Cox beats Karimimachiani, 5-1, to advance. He will face Turkey’s Selim Yasar, the No. 4 seed, next.
UPDATE: Cox won his opening round match, 7-1, against Belarus’ Amarhajy Mahamedau. He will face Iran’s Alireza Karimimachiani in the quarterfinals; he defeated Karimimachiani in June.
As the Rio Olympics begin to draw to a close, 21-year old J'den Cox's opportunity has finally come. Mizzou's celebrated wrestler will participate in the 86kg freestyle event beginning today at 8:00 a.m. CT.
Cox is in the bottom half of the bracket, in the fourth quarter-bracket, where he will face the winner of the preliminary match between Aslan Kakhidze of Kazakhstan and Amarhajy Mahamedau of Belarus. Kakhidze was fifth in the 2014 World Championships.
If Cox wins his first bout, he would face one of the athletes in the bottom portion of the bracket, which includes 2014 World Military champion Uitumen Orgotol of Mongolia, 2010 World champion Mihail Ganev of Bulgaria, 2015 World bronze medalist Ali Reza Karimimachiani of Iran and Mohammad Saadaoui of Tunisia.
In the top portion of Cox’s half-bracket, who are potential semifinal opponents, include Selim Yasar of Turkey, 2012 Olympic silver medslist Jaime Espinal of Puerto Rico, three-time World medalist Reineris Salas of Cuba and Kim Gwanuk of Korea. [...]
“J’den burst onto the international scene. He had a great spring, coming off the NCAA Tournament and then making the Olympic Team, then wrestling in the Qualifier, then the World Cup then the German Grand Prix. His learning curve has been steep and fast. He has done a great job. We are excited to see what J’den is going to do. He is an atypical athlete. He is very spontaneous and creative with his style and has a lot of movement. That is going to be key for him, to make that the difference between he and the rest of the field,” said [assistant national coach Bill] Zadick.
Cox’s rise to Olympic qualifier has been incredible to follow. Now we get to find out how the story ends.
TV: NBCSN, with tape-delay programming (dammit, NBC) starting around 12:45 p.m. CT.