By Charlie Akers | BSU at the Games
Justin Lester has had success on the international level, but not for a few years. He has not won a medal in any competition since he got back-to-back bronzes in 2006 and 2007 at the World Championships.
At the Olympic Games, Lester has a strategy for the 66kg Greco-Roman weight class to try and get back on the podium. He is looking to push the pace of the matches so he can catch his opponents off guard and take advantage of any mistakes this may cause them to make.
“Once you get to the highest level of wrestling everyone is good, it’s the person that makes that one mistake and you capitalize on it. That’s what I try to do. That’s my usual game plan,” Lester said.
After winning the 2011 USA Greco-Roman wrestler of the year, Lester is not letting it go to his head. He appreciates that it shows all the work he did last year, but he has to put it in the past, he said
When preparing to take on his opponents, Lester is not taking it easy with his pre-match warm-up.
“About half an hour of cardio and drilling and then I always do two competition matches. I usually try to get that in 45 minutes before my matches,” Lester said.
After the hard workout, he said he needs to calm his mind and listens to soul music. He said he prefers John Legend and Robin Thick because if he listens to anything else it gets his mind racing too much.
Lester does not have an easy road ahead of him to the gold. Iranian Saeid Mourad Adbevali, 22, is someone that Lester has to defeat. Since 2009 the Iranian has won the 2009 Junior Nationals, 2010 Asian Games and last two World Championships in the 66kg weight class with taking.
Lester said he is prepared for anything that could happen and is proud to be representing Team USA at the Olympic Games.
Lester is competing on Tuesday. Qualifying starts at 1 p.m. with the bronze medal match at 12:45 p.m. ET, and the gold medal match an hour later.
Charlie Akers is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Charlie and the BSU team at @the8thKing,@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.