Five-time World champ Adeline Gray “sad” as USA  pulls out of world championship

By   - 21/10/2020

Last year Adeline Gray had created history after winning her fifth world title and second in a row when she defeated Japan’s Hiroe Suzuki 4-2 in the women’s 76kg. When Tokyo Olympics were deferred due to covid-19 she expressed her disappointment but was also happy that she gets to keep the “defending champion” title for one more year. However, now she will not be able to defend it.

USA wrestling on Wednesday announced that they will not be participating at the world championships, set for Belgrade, Serbia, Dec. 12-20. Gray expressed her sadness with the decision. In an Instagram post, she wrote “USA wrestling says we cannot go to unitedworldwrestling World Championships in December 2020. I am sad but I also understand. I wanted to win a 6th title. I wanted to have a goal to train for something. Thanks for the love and support- I’m going to need it for a while”.

USA Wrestling’s Executive Committee, which acts on behalf of the Board of Directors between Board meetings, in an October 20 meeting, unanimously approved a proposal not to participate in the Senior World Championships due to health and safety issues caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and safety of U.S. athletes, coaches and staff is always the No. 1 concern for USA Wrestling. After reviewing updated medical, scientific and government data, and providing an opportunity for athlete and stakeholder input, the Executive Committee concluded that it would not be in the best interest of all involved to organize a delegation to travel to and participate in the Senior World Championships in Serbia,” said Bruce Baumgartner, USA Wrestling President.

On Monday, October 12, United World Wrestling (UWW), the international federation for wrestling, announced that its Executive Committee voted to approve existing plans to host the event. In the same announcement, UWW cancelled the 2020 Junior World Championships, which had been set for early December in Belgrade. The Senior World Championships is the only World Championships event left on the 2020 UWW calendar, after having cancelled all other World events at the age-group levels.

However, this is not the first time USA Wrestling has decided not to participate at the worlds citing safety reasons for its athletes. In 2002, it did not attend the Senior World Freestyle Championships in Tehran, Iran as there was not guaranteed safety for them.

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