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|Coleman, Betts, Byers weigh in and receive draws for Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling on Aug. 6|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
LONDON, England – Three U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers who will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games have weighed in and received their draws for their competition on Monday, August 6: Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 60 kg/132 lbs., Chas Betts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Minnesota Storm) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
“Everybody made weight very well. Dremiel did a great job. Ellis, who had a lot of weight to drop, did a wonderful job. Chas doesn’t cut a lot of weight. He was perfect. They guys are ready to rock and roll,” said National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser.
Coleman drew the No. 16 spot, and will face 2011 World bronze medalist Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria in his first match.
Should Coleman win, he will face the winner of the match between Jiang Shen of China, winner of the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifier and 2011 World champion Omid Noroozi of Iran.
“It’s the Olympic Games. There aren’t any weak opponents. Ellis will have to come here ready to go, right off the bat. He has tough opponents right away. He has looked outstanding in training. He’s a great kid. He’s talented, he’s strong, he’s in great shape, he’s hungry, he’s coachable, all of it,” said Fraser.
Betts drew the No. 13 spot, and will face Keitani Graham of Micronesia.
Should Betts win, he will face the winner of the match between 2010 World silver medalist Pablo Shorey of Cuba and 2009 World bronze medalist Habibollah Akhlaghi of Iran.
“I know the Micronesia kid; he’s not terrible. Then he has one of the toughest guys in the tournament, the winner between Cuba and Iran. We have to be ready right away. Betts has prepared wisely. He will push the pace. If he bring his game to the mat tomorrow, he can win. I am happy about his chances,” said Fraser.
Byers drew the No. 6 spot, and will face Muminjon Abdullaev of Uzbekistan.
Should Byers win, he will face the winner of the match between 2011 World champion Riza Kayaalp of Turkey and Evgeni Orlov of Ukraine.
Also with Byers on the top half of the bracket is 2008 Olympic champion and five-time World champion Mijian Lopez of Cuba. They could meet in the semifinals if both win their first two matches.
“The Uzbek is tough and strong. Then I’d guess the Turk would be his next opponent, then Lopez of Cuba is in the upper bracket too. It will be a fun day for him. He will do well. He will beat these guys and show the world that Dremiel Byers is the real deal. He has been working on a lot of things, both on the feet and in par terre. He’s worked out with a lot of different guys. I think Byers is ready and hungry,” said Fraser.
Coleman will be competing on his first U.S. Olympic Team, which is also his first Senior World-level team. He qualified the USA for the Olympics at this weight class with a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier. Coleman is a two-time Junior World bronze medalist (2010, 2011). At 20 years old, he is the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team this year.
A native of Oak Park, Ill., Coleman was a state place winner for Oak Park-River Forest High School. He attended Northern Michigan University as a member of its U.S. Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman program before becoming a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.
Betts is also on his first U.S. Olympic Team. He was a member of the 2009 U.S. World Team, and was a 2012 U.S. Open champion. He had a strong 2012 season, with victories at the Dave Schultz Memorial and the Pan American Championships. He also qualified the USA for the Olympics with a silver medal at the 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier.
A native of St. Michael, Minn., Betts was a state champion for St. Michael-Albertville High School. He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University, where he was as a member of its U.S. Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman program. He is currently a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.
Byers is competing in his second Olympic Games, after placing seventh in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Byers is one of the most accomplished Greco-Roman wrestlers in U.S. history. He was a 2002 World champion, a 2009 World silver medalist and a 2007 World bronze medalist. He has been on eight straight U.S. World or Olympic Teams since 2005.
A native of Kings Mountain, N.C., Byers was a state champion for Kings Mountain High School. He attended North Carolina A&T State prior to joining the U.S. Army. He is a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. Byers holds a rank of Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army.
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