Aussie wrestlers book their tickets to Rio

Published 2 April 2016 (AEDT)

DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 06: Nigeria's Talaram Mamman keeps an eye on Australian Ivan Popov during the Australian's gold medal winning performance in the 120kg Greco-Roman wrestling bout against Nigeria's Talaram Mamman at the IG Sports Complex during day three of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games on October 6, 2010 in Delhi, India. © 2010 Getty Images

WRESTLING: Australian Greco Roman wrestlers Ivan Popov and Vinod Kumar have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a top two finish at the Africa/Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament in Alger, Algeria.

Both fighters needed to win their opening fight to move through to the final and book their tickets to Rio.

Competing in the 66kg division, Kumar defeated New Zealand's Craig Miller 12-6 in the semi-final to ensure a debut Olympic berth in Rio. He went on to lose to Adham Kahk of Egypt 10-0 in the final.

130kg fighter Popov claimed victory over local favourite Ali Bouachioum to also get the chance to make his Olympic debut in Rio. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist went on to lose the final to Egyptian Adellatif Mohamed 10-0.

Australia's third fighter on the opening night Nicolaas Verreynne went down in the qualification round 8-0 to Ahmed Saad of Egypt in the 85kg division.

Eight more Australians remain in contention to join Kumar and Popov in Rio at the qualification tournament,

Females – 2 April 2016
48kg     Jessica Lavers-McBain
53kg     Pia Rosenkranz
63kg     Stevie Kelly
75kg     Shantelle Thompson

Male Freestyle - 3 April 2016
57kg    Aaron Maher
65kg   Sahit Prezrini
74kg   Talgat Ilyasov 
86kg   Connor Evans

Matt Bartolo


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