July 26, 2007
MARQUETTE—United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Harry Lester of Akron, Ohio, won gold at the Pan American Games July 24 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The Northern Michigan University post-baccalaureate student raised Anyelo Mota of the Dominican Republic in a reverse lift, planting him onto his back for a first-period fall at 1:09 in the 66-kilogram final.
“I call the move a Spike or a Power Bomb,” Lester said. “I do it quite a bit. Guys like Joe Warren and T.C. Dantzler do it as well. I love to do it whenever I get the chance and it worked out for me.”
On his way to the top of the podium, Lester defeated Renato Migliaccio of Brazil 6-0, 6-0; Ulises Barragan of Mexico by pin at 1:13; and Alain Milian of Cuba 3-1, 3-0.
One of Lester’s biggest tests came before the tournament began, however. His flight was late and he only had 24 hours to cut weight between landing and weigh-ins.
“It was a big relief when I made weight—a big relief,” Lester said. “When I step out on the mat, I’m going to have fun. I really enjoyed being out there competing and just had fun with it. I had to stay focused and stick to my game plan. Whenever I do that, in my mind, nobody can beat me.”
Lester won bronze at the 2006 World Championships and will represent the United States at the 2007 World Championships this fall in Azerbaijan. He was named as the 2006-07 USOEC athlete of the year in May.
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