ATHENS (KSEE) – On August 28th, 2004, Stephen Abas wrestled for gold.

Abas, a four-time all-American and a three-time national champion at Fresno State, was in Greece competing at the 2004 Olympics. In men’s freestyle (featherweight division), it came down to Abas against Russia’s Mavlet Batirov.

The 26-year-old Abas had beaten Batirov the previous year in the preliminary round of the world championships (in overtime).

At the Olympics, Batirov beat Abas, 9-1. He became an Olympic champion at 20 years old.

“This has been a great experience for me,” said Abas after getting the silver medal. “This is the highest I’ve placed in a tournament of this level, so I’m very proud of that.

“Obviously, we all want to win. It just wasn’t my day today.”