American judoka Travis Stevens entered his semifinal match against Avtandili Tchrikishvili of Georgia one win away from guaranteeing himself of a medal, which would be the first for the United States in the half middleweight class (81 kg) since Jason Morris won silver in Barcelona in 1992. With less than a minute remaining in the first round Stevens got the result he needed, as he defeated Tchrikishvili by ippon.
On the heels of his fourth win of the day, Stevens will fight in the gold medal match against Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia at approximately 4:30 p.m. Eastern. The match will be available live at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. Stevens’ medal will be the first Olympic medal in judo for the United States since current team coach Jimmy Pedro won a bronze in 2004.
Stevens defeated Sweden’s Robin Pacek, Uzbekistan’s Shakhzodbek Sabirov and Bulgaria’s Ivaylo Ivanov to reach the semifinal round, with the wins over Sabirov and Ivanov both being by ippon.