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Keyla Harrison has made history by becoming the first American judo woman athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. The Ohio athlete got the gold on Thursday, August 2 in the 172-pound women final by blocking Brit Gemma Gibbons. The bronze was won by French Audrey Tcheumeo and Brazilian Marya Aguiar.
The final match lasted five minutes, and Harrison dominated from the start. The U.S. judoka age-22 won by throwing Gibbons twice with two separate yuko scores. The first point came when the clock was pointing minute one, while the second point took place when only one minute was remaining.
Journey to gold has not been easy for Harrison. In the first game she beat Vera Moskalyuk from Russia in just 56 seconds. On quarterfinals she had to play Abigel Joo of Hungary who was beat in 3:10. In the semifinals Harrison had to play world number 1 Mary Aguiar, who was defeated with an arm lock when 14 seconds were remaining for the end.
This has been the second American medal in the judo category during this Olympics. The first one came with Marti Malloy, who won a bronze in the women 57-kilogram category. Judo is a sport that has recently started producing results for the United States in women’s category, since the first medal was achieved in 2008 (Ronda Rousey, bronze.)