October 9, 2007
MARQUETTE –United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Harry Lester, a Northern Michigan University senior, competed at the World Championships Sept. 17 in Baku, Azerbaijan and came home with a bronze medal.
Lester won the first four rounds at 66 kg. He defeated Juha Hiltunen of Finland (7-0, 6-0), Seref Eroglu of Turkey (3-2, 3-0, Mayil Consuegra of Cuba (1-1, 3-0) and Ionel Puscasu of Romania (5-0, 3-1).
In the fifth match, Lester lost to hometown wrestler Farid Mansurov of Azerbaijan (3-6, 1-4). He said the duel featured some questionable calls.
“We got into a scramble and I put him on his back in the last period,” Lester said. “Normally, a wrestler has the opportunity to change positions with thirty seconds left in the last period, unless one wrestler is one his back. Even though I had him [Mansurov] on his back, he still got to reset at the 30 second mark. It was a fired-up match.”
Lester rebounded from loss and secured a bronze medal with a 3-1, 2-1 victory over Tama Lorincz of Hungary.
“All of the matches were live on T.V. in Baku,” said Lester. “I was recognized because we were on T.V. so much; I even had a news crew following me around for a few days.”
Lester also earned eight points with his third-place finish, lifting Team USA to its first-ever overall team title.