|Dremiel Byers named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for September 23-28|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for September 23-28, 2009.
The 35-year-old Byers won a silver medal at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. in Greco-Roman at the World Wrestling Championships in Herning, Denmark, Sept. 27.
Byers, a 2002 World champion and 2007 World bronze medalist, joins past U.S. heavyweight Matt Ghaffari with the most World medals in U.S. Greco-Roman history. He also becomes the first American to win a World medal of every kind in Greco-Roman, a gold, silver and bronze.
Byers won four matches in a row to qualify for the World finals, beating some very talented opponents. He opened with a 1-0, 2-0 win over Lukasz Banak of Poland. In the second round, he stopped four-time World silver medalist Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary, 2-0, 1-0. Byers had beaten Deak-Bardos in the 2002 World finals.
In the quarterfinals, Byers stopped Jalmar Sjoeberg of Sweden, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0. Byers avenged a loss to Sjoeberg at the 2008 Olympic Games. His semifinal win was over Nico Schmidt of Germany, 3-0, 0-1, 3-0.
In the gold medal finals, Byers fell to three-time World champion and 2008 Olympic champion Mijian Lopez of Cuba. Byers lost the first period, 0-1, then was leading 1-0 when Lopez won a throw position and was able to pin Byers.
Byers won the only Greco-Roman World medal for the United States this year. Other U.S. medalists at the 2009 World Championships were freestyle wrestlers Jake Herbert (silver, 84 kg) and Tervel Dlagnev (bronze, 120 kg).
Byers is a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. Originally from Kings Mountain, N.C., Byers attended North Carolina A&T for a short time before joining the Army.
Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Craig Sesker at firstname.lastname@example.org