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Danny Shin, 23 Sports

Sunday, April 24–

Mizzou Wrestling junior J’den Cox is Rio de Janeiro-bound.

At around 1 a.m. CT Sunday, the reigning NCAA Champion at 197 pounds won the 86-kilogram freestyle weight class at the World Games Qualifying Tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In doing so, Cox officially secured his spot in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Cox dominated en route to the championship, outscoring the opposition 36-3 in a five-match sweep. He cruised through his first two bouts by technical fall, defeating Armenia’s Shamir Atyan and Greece’s Timofei Xenidis by a combined score of 21-0.

Cox only trailed once in the entire tournament when Poland’s Zbigniew Baranowski scored a push-out in the opening 30 seconds of their quarterfinal match. Cox came right back with two takedowns for a 4-1 victory.

In the semifinals, Cox took a 2-1 over Uzbekistan’s Umidjon Isminov after the first period. He then added a push-out and late takedown to put the match away, 5-2, and officially punch his ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

Cox closed out the tournament just like he started, posting a 6-0 win over Venezuela’s Pedro Francisco Ceballos Fuentes. It was Cox’s third shutout in five matches on the day.

Cox will be the second wrestler in program history to compete in the Olympics after Ben Askren wrestled in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The 2016 Summer Olympics take place August 5-21.

For more information on the Tigers, make sure to follow @MizzouWrestling on Twitter or check out mutugers.com.

Photo courtesy of www.newstribune.com.