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Dremiel Byers captures gold, Harry Lester wins silver in Greco-Roman event in Romania



BRASOV, Romania - Dremiel Byers struck gold, Harry Lester captured silver and T.C. Dantzler and Justin Ruiz each won bronze medals as the United States World Greco-Roman Team tuned up for the World Championships by competing in the Turneul International on Aug. 19-20.

The competition capped a two-week trip to Romania where the U.S. Greco-Roman team competed in a joint training camp with a number of other countries before capping the visit with the competition.

The World Championships are set for Sept. 26-Oct. 1 in Guangzhou, China.

Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) defeated Revaz Chelidze of Georgia in the finals at 120 kg/264.5 pounds. Byers won a World title in 2002.

Lester (Akron, Ohio/USOEC/Gator WC) dropped a 3-1, 3-2 decision to Russia's Maxim Semenov in the finals at 66 kg/145.5 pounds. Semenov placed ninth at the 2004 Olympics.

Dantzler (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) fell to Russia's Michail Svanchenko 3-1, 5-1 in the semifinals at 74 kg/163 pounds. Dantzler came back to win a bronze.

Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) fell 3-0, 6-0 in the 96 kg/211.5 pound quarterfinals to eventual champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Ramaz Nozadze of Georgia. Ruiz, a returning World bronze medalist, then came back to earn a bronze. Ruiz knocked off 2005 World silver medalist Lajos Virag of Hungary 3-1, 5-4 in his bronze-medal match.

"All in all, the guys wrestled very well," said Steve Fraser, USA Wrestling's National Greco-Roman coach. "All wrestled with a great fighting spirit. The matches we lost were very close. Harry wrestled like a true warrior and Byers wrestled really well."

American Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) placed fifth at 55 kg/121 pounds while teammate Russ Davie (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) took fifth at 120 kg/264.5 pounds and Brad Vering (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) was fifth at 84 kg/185 pounds.

Vering defeated World Team member Jake Clark (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) 3-1, 3-2 in the quarterfinals. Vering, a three-time World Team member and 2004 Olympian, placed third this year in the U.S. World Team Trials. Vering lost to Russia's Rustam Totrov 3-1, 5-4 in the semifinals after his win over Clark.

World Team member Joe Warren (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) was held out of the tournament with a foot injury. Warren competes at 60 kg/132 pounds.
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