The reigning champion of women’s middleweight boxing in 2012 will be standing on the podium in 2016.
Claressa Shields, the top seed of the division and reigning London Olympic champion, defeated her opponent Yaroslava Yakushina (RUS) via unanimous decision to move on to the semifinal round.
With this victory, Shields also clinches at least a bronze medal, the third of Team USA’s assured medals in the Rio Olympics. Shields and Shakur Stevenson, who competes on Thursday, both have a shot at a gold medal in their divisions.
For Shields, she would make history by retaining the title in her division, although she has already made history as the first ever women’s middleweight gold medalist.
Shields will face Dariga Shakimova (KAZ) on Friday.
However, Shields was perhaps upstaged by the match that preceded hers: Estelle Mossely (FRA) v. Anastasia Belyakova (RUS). Belyakova had defeated American Mikaela Mayer earlier this week in a quaterfinal match, eliminating Mayer from medal contention.
During the first round of the semifinal, it appeared that Mossley landed a hook on Belyakova that broke the Russian boxer’s left arm.
Belyakova was left screaming in pain in the ring, leading the referee to stop the fight. Belyakova was soon escorted from the arena, and Mossley was declared winner via TKO.
Estelle Mossely will face China’s Yin Junhua on Friday for the gold medal in women’s lightweight.