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Dremiel Byers falls to World champ in quarterfinals

LONDON, England — Dremiel Byers won a World championship ten years ago. But that honor meant little when he faced 2011 World titlist Riza Kayaalp as the 39-year-old American heavyweight lost in the quarterfinals for a second-straight Olympic experience.

Dremiel Byers (left) said he may still try to return for 2016 Olympics after losing in the quarterfinals to Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp. (John Sachs image)

After a scoreless first 90 seconds, Kayaalp kept from being turned in par terre by Byers and won the first period 1-0. The only other point scored in the action-lacking match was a push-out by Kayaalp 12 seconds into the second period. That 1-0 lead held, advancing the Turk against 2011 World champ.

“I knew what kind of match to expect. I trained for it. I don’t know,” Byers told Tim Hipps, with the U.S. Amry Public Affairs after the loss to Kayaalp. “I didn’t fire as much as I wanted to, especially when I was on top. “I was expecting it to be settled on the feet.

“I really don’t know what to say. It just hurts. Didn’t work out the way I needed it to. I tried to leave it out there, but I just came up short.”

Earlier in the day, Byers defeated Uzebekistan’s Muminjon Abdullaev, 2-0, 1-0, as Byers used a second-period gutwrench with 14 seconds left in the period after a second scoreless first 1:30. The two-point gut gave Byers the period and the match after the 2002 World champ won the first period 1-0 by defending from par terre.

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