Four years after winning her first Olympic gold medal, American judoka Kayla Harrison added to that collection Thursday afternoon.
After rolling through her first three matches, more effort was required of Harrison in her gold medal bout against France’s Audrey Tcheumeo. Harrison defeated Tcheumeo by ippon 3:54 into the first round, with the world’s second-ranked judoka in the half-heavyweight class keeping Harrison active for two minutes longer than any of her three prior opponents.
Harrison’s medal makes her the first female judoka to win two Olympic gold medals in the half-heavyweight division. Her appearance in the gold medal match gave the U.S. two gold medal finalist in judo in Rio, the first time that has happened. Travis Stevens took silver in the 81 kg weight class.
Harrison and Tcheumeo joined Japan’s Yoko Tanabe as the only women’s in the history of the half-heavyweight division to win multiple Olympic medals.
Brazil’s Mayra Aguiar (BRA) and Slovenia’s Anamari Velensek, with the latter falling to Harrison in the semifinal round, won the bronze medal matches.