Helen Maroulis wins Team USA’s first-ever gold medal in women’s wrestling

Helen Maroulis at the Rio Games

It took some time, but the United States now has a gold medalist in women’s wrestling.

And to earn it, Helen Maroulis had to beat a woman who knows a thing or two about gold medals: Japan’s Saori Yoshida, a 13-time world champion and three-time reigning Olympic champion.

It was a gold medal showdown that the wrestling world had been looking forward to for a long time. Maroulis, the reigning world champion at 55kg, versus Yoshida, the reigning world champion at 53kg.

The first period ended with Yoshida leading 1-0 after Maroulis failed to convert when put on the 30-second shot clock. The American came out strong in the second period, getting two takedowns to earn a 4-1 victory on points.

53kg quarterfinals
Yoshida (JPN) wins 9-0 vs. Sambou (SEN)
Arguello (VEN) wins 6-3 vs. Prevolaraki (GRE)
Mattsson (SWE) wins 10-3 vs. Krawcyz (POL)
Maroulis (USA) wins 7-4 vs. Jong (PRK)

53kg semifinals
Yoshida (JPN) wins 6-0 vs. Arguello (VEN)
Maroulis (USA) wins by fall (5:24) vs. Mattsson (SWE)

53kg repechage matches
Rd. 1: Zhong (CHN) wins by tech fall 10-0 vs. Khavaldzhy (UKR)
Rd. 2: Sinishin (AZE) wins 4-0 vs. Sambou (SEN)
Rd. 2: Zhong (CHN) wins on criteria 5-5 vs. Jong (PRK)

53kg bronze medal matches
Sinishin (AZE) wins 2-1 vs. Arguello (VEN)

53kg gold medal match
Maroulis (USA) wins 4-1 vs. Yoshida (JPN)

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