Cox Wins Freestyle Wrestling Bronze for US | NBC Connecticut
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Cox Wins Freestyle Wrestling Bronze for US

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    AP
    United States' J'den Cox celebrates after defeating Cuba's Reineris Salas Perez during the men's 86-kg freestyle wrestling bronze medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.

    USA's J'den Cox defeated Reineris Salas Perez of Cuba on Saturday to earn bronze in the 86 kg class of the freestyle wrestling competition.

    The match ended in controversy when the Cuban wrestler refused to go on after Cox was awarded two points following a challenge. The Cuban wrestler was disqualified, and the 21-year-old Cox had bronze in his first Olympics.

    Cox beat Balarus' Amarhajy Mahamedau 3-1 in the round of 16. He went on to defeat Iran's Alireza Karimi in the quarterfinals 3-1, but lost in the semifinals 3-1 to Turkey's Selim Yasar. He will fight for bronze at 4:15 p.m. ET.

    Cox won his second NCAA championship in 2016, which qualified him for Olympic Trials. He decided to cut weight to compete down at 86kg at trials, where he upset top-seed Jake Herbert en route to winning the tournament.

    Two weeks later, Cox earned gold at an Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament in Mongolia to punch his ticket to Rio.

    In the 125 kg class, Tervel Dlagnev of the U.S. was defeated by Geno Petriashvili of Georgia in the bronze medal match.