Eri Tosaka has won a major global title for the fourth year in a row, and she did it in dramatic fashion.
The showdown for gold in women’s 48kg freestyle wrestling was a matchup of Tosaka, the division’s three-time reigning world champion, and Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnik, the current world No. 1. Stadnik held a narrow 2-1 lead late in the match, but Tosaka managed to get her to the mat and score a two-point takedown with about four seconds left on the clock. It gave Tosaka a 3-2 victory and her first Olympic gold medal.
China’s Sun Yanan, the world No. 2, won the first Bronze Medal Match in just 54 seconds. Sun slammed her opponent, Zhuldyz Eshimova of Kazakhstan, to the mat for a four-point takedown, then turned Eshimova three times to run the score up to 10-0 and achieve a victory by technical fall.
The second Bronze Medal Match was won by Elitsa Yankova of Bulgaria. Yankova opened up a 7-2 lead before giving up a four-point takedown to Argentina’s Patricia Bermudez that tightened the score up to 7-6. Yankova managed to keep the remainder of the bout scoreless to secure the victory.
U.S. wrestler Haley Augello ended the day with a 1-2 record. After posting a 7-0 victory in her first match, Augello was not able to get past Tosaka in the quarterfinals. With Tosaka reaching the final, Augello was pulled into the repechage, but she then lost to Eshimova and fell short of advancing to the bronze medal round.
Women’s 48kg quarterfinals
Tosaka (JPN) wins 11-2 vs. Augello (USA)
Sun (CHN) wins by injury withdrawal vs. Vinesh (IND)
Stadnik (AZE) wins by tech fall 10-0 vs. Matkowska (POL)
Yankova (BUL) wins 3-2 vs. Castillo (COL)
Women’s 48kg semifinals
Tosaka (JPN) wins 8-3 vs. Sun (CHN)
Stadnik (AZE) wins by fall (2:21) vs. Yankova (BUL)
Women’s 48kg repechage matches
Eshimova (KAZ) wins 3-2 vs. Augello (USA)
Bermudez (ARG) wins 6-3 vs. Matkowska (POL)
Women’s 48kg Bronze Medal Matches
Sun (CHN) wins by tech fall 10-0 vs. Eshimova (KAZ)
Bermudez (ARG) wins 7-6 vs. Yankova (BUL)
Women’s 48kg Gold Medal Match
Tosaka (JPN) wins 3-2 vs. Stadnik (AZE)