With time running down in the gold medal match of the women’s lightweight freestyle wrestling competition, Japan’s streak of gold medalists in the event was in danger of being broken. Japan’s Kaori Icho trailed Russia’s Valeria Kublova 2-1 and was in need of a scoring move to extend the nation’s streak of Olympic gold medalists in women’s lightweight freestyle to four.
With four seconds remaining in the match Icho got the score she needed, winning 3-2 as a result. Icho is the second Japanese woman to win the event, with Saori Yoshida taking gold in each of the last three Summer Olympics. Women’s wrestling did not become part of the Olympic program until the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Icho is the first Olympic wrestler, male or female, to win four gold medals. The first three gold medals all came in the middleweight (63 kg) division.
Taking bronze were Marwa Amri of Tunisia and Sakshi Malik of India, with both winning the first wrestling medals for their respective nations. In the case of Malik, she came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Aisuluu Tynybekova 7-5 in her bronze medal match.