Penn State product Zain Retherford qualifies for Olympic Games

Another wrestler from Penn State will compete in the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.   

Zain Retherford overcame a tough rematch on Sunday to secure a third-place finish and a spot in the main event of the world wrestling circuit.  

He qualified by defeating Niurgun Skriabin in the third-place match after advancing through the consolation bracket (also known as the repechage round).  

As soon as the whistle blew, Retherford scored a point by driving Kudiev out of bounds with a single leg run. Retherford's excellent scrambling kept Kudiev out of the scoring after he got in deep on a single leg attempt.  

Before the half, Retherford scored two more points by taking advantage of Kudiev's constant attacks on his right leg with a well-timed re-shot single leg.  

Thirty seconds into the second frame, Retherford took a commanding double leg takedown to establish a 5-0 lead. For the rest of the contest  

, he engaged in hand-to-hand combat. With eight seconds remaining, Kudiev successfully applied a takedown, bringing the score to 5-2.  

At the 45-second mark, Retherford scored four points with a front headlock toss. Alibegov countered him with exposure during the exchange, giving Retherford a 4-2 victory.  

When they got back to neutral standing, Retherford got his first opportunity on top when he countered an Alibegov knee pick attempt. He took full advantage of it.   

Using a boot on the right side, Retherford reverted to his folkstyle, tilting Alibegov three times before slipping off the boot into a half nelson for the fall in 2:37.  

Alibegov was a U20 World bronze medalist in 2021. He finished with bronze at the U23 Asian Championships in 2022. 

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