RIO DE JANEIRO – A day that was months, and years in the making finally came for King University women's wrestler Haley Augello when she took the mat in the 2016 Olympic Games on Wednesday morning. She won her first bout, but fell to the three-time defending World champion in the quarterfinals. Augello then fell in her first bout in the repechage to end her tournament.
Augello started her day with a hard fought 7-0 win over 2015 World bronze medalist Jessica Blaszka of Netherlands. Augello took the lead on a caution to Blaszka before getting a pushout to take a 2-0 lead after the first period. In the second period, Augello earned another pushout before getting the matches first takedown to take a 5-0 lead. She then earned another takedown, taking the victory 7-0 to move on to the quarterfinals.
However, Augello had to face three-time defending World champion Eri Tosaka of Japan. Tosaka on earned the first point on a caution on Augello and held a 1-0 lead after the first period. Augello came out in the second period and got a takedown to take a 2-1 lead, but Tosaka answered with a reversal for two points. She then earned four more point to take a 7-2 lead following a pair of exposure calls. Tosaka, who went on to win the gold medal, then took the match 11-2 following another takedown and turn.
Augello then had to wait to see if Tosaka won her semifinal match, which she did, bringing Augello back into the repechage bracket to wrestle for bronze.
In the repechage, Augello faced two-time World bronze medalist Zhuldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan who held a 1-0 lead after the first period on a caution call on Augello. She later earned a takedown to take a 3-0 lead before Augello answered with a takedown of her own to cut the deficit to 3-2. However, Eshimova played defense the rest of the way to take the match 3-2. Eshimova ended the competition with a fifth place finish.
"It's a heartbreak, especially when you are training hard for something," Augello said moments after her loss. "In the sport of wrestling, I like to look at it as a game of cat and mouse. If you want to be the mouse, that's fine. If you want to run, that's fine. I am young. I am not as experienced. Just the second time wrestling international at 48 kg. So you can be the mouse if you want. I am going to hunt you down. I'll get you next time."