BEIJING - Despite leading his match into the final minute, only to have an official review go against him, costing him the match, Colorado Springs resident Ryan Reser was humble in defeat.
Reser, a three time World Cup medalist, led his match in the final minute against 2008 Asian Championships medalist Dashdavaa Gantumur of Mongolia by a waza-ari score, stemming from three penalties charged to Gantumur.
But, Gantumur got onto the scoreboard after throwing Reser for a yuko score, then earned a koka off a penalty committed by Reser. The American continued to attack and appeared to have earned a victory when he threw Gantumur for a waza-ari score.
However, the referee jury summoned the mat team off the tatami to review the throw. After deliberation, it was decided that the Mongolian would be awarded the score.
"I initiated the throw and he finished it," Reser said of the confusion that arose after the Mongolian hit his back and Reser followed over. "Anything can happen at the Olympics. If you don't go out and totally destroy people, you can't blame it on anyone else."
The loss eliminated Reser in his first Olympic appearance, which came after being an alternate on the 2000 and 2004 teams.
"It feels good, surreal, to finally reach this point," Reser said. "It's tough to spend 20 years of your life training for that moment and have it end that way, but it's a great feeling to be here."