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Stanford's Butler brings home bronze medal from junior world championships

 

Stanford redshirt sophomore Nathan Butler was one of three Americans to capture a bronze medal Sunday on the final day of the UWW Junior World Championships in Salvador, Brazil.

Steven Mimic and Aaron Pico also won their bronze medal matches for the U.S.

Butler won a tactical match, 2-1, over Poland's Kamil Kosciulek at heavyweight. Kosciulek was the defending bronze medalist.

Both wrestlers scored a point when their opponents were put on a shot clock.

The difference was a pushout by Butler early in the second period. Butler did not get into any serious danger of allowing a scoring moved by Kosciulek. It was Butler's first World Championships appearance.

"The coaches told me he was going to attack," Butler said. "He kind of did, but kind of didn't. They said I was able to get my leg attacks. I was able to get that single and drive him out. I really wish I could have gotten more leg attacks. It is what it is. We both got one point for the shot clock. I got the pushout off the drive single. It worked out well."

The United States placed fourth in the final team standings with four medals and 40 points. Iran won the title with 62 points, followed by Azerbaijan in second with 58 points and Russia in third with 49 points.

"This morning, we lost some matches we did not want to lose," U.S. coach Brandon Slay said. "After the round, we regrouped and we communicated. We had three guys wrestling for a medal tonight for the United States of America. Our goal was for every guy to get a bronze. Micic, Pico and Butler all finished strong. We went three-for-three in the medal round. Team USA finished with pride and did a great job representing the Red-White-And-Blue."

Butler opened the tournament with a victory over 2014 European Junior champion Beka Kandelaki of Georgia, 6-2, on Saturday.

Kandelaki led 2-1 early in the second period, but Butler got things going late in the match with a takedown with one minute left, then a counter takedown as time ran out.

The Georgians protested at the end, which was denied, giving Butler the 6-2 win.

In the semifinals, Butler fell to Said Gamidov of Azerbaijan, 1-5.

Gamidov led 1-0 at the break on a pushout. He added two takedowns in the second period, with Butler scoring only on a shot clock penalty.

— USA wrestling

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