DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Graham High School and Penn State University graduate David Taylor said Tuesday’s postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 didn’t bother him. After a year-long recovery from an injury that finished last weekend with him winning an Olympic qualifying spot for the U.S, any delays will be to his advantage.
“I feel great,” Taylor told WDTN.com. “I’m ready to go right now, but I feel any delay favors me because it gives me more time to recover and be focused. I was hoping to compete in the Olympic games (this summer) but having more time definitely benefits me.”
The 29-year-old defeated Pedro Ceballos Fuentes of Venezuela and Yurieski Torreblanca of Cuba without giving up a point before taking the 86 kg freestyle final via forfeit in the 2020 Pan-American Olympic Qualifying event on March 15. The win guaranteed the United States would have a qualifying spot in that weight class. Taylor would have still needed to qualify at the U.S. Olympic trials scheduled at his home school at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center on April 4-5. He was the top qualifying seed.
The tournament was his first action in nearly a year after an ACL tear nearly ended his career in March 2019. Taylor was the reigning 2018 world champion in the weight class when it occurred.
Taylor said he doesn’t know if the postponement will have any effect on qualifying.
“The team hadn’t been determined yet, so we will need more clarification on what this means,” Taylor said. “I would have had a spot in the trials regardless. Right now if there were trials, I’d be the No. 1 seed. I would assume that would continue to hold its value but we don’t know anything until we hear from U.S. Wrestling.”
Taylor said he expected the postponement for a while. He said the qualifications for the event are a massive undertaking for countries and athletes competing, let alone the host country Japan.
“The Olympics are a celebration that takes four years of support and with everything that’s going on (with coronavirus), I didn’t see the likelihood of it happening,” Taylor said. “I think more than 50 percent of the athletes haven’t even been able to allocate for the games let alone participate to qualify.”
Taylor’s more relieved the games have a new date and athletes aren’t left to speculate when they’ll have to travel or compete.
“I’m glad there’s some clarity that’s it’s going to be 2021. I heard it could be six months, eight months or a year. I would think it will be next summer, but that’s an assumption at this point.”
For more on the postponement of the 2020 games, as well as more Olympic news, visit WDTN.com’s website.
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