She did it again. After becoming the first ever American athlete, men or women, to win a gold medal in judo at the Olympics, Kayla Harrison repeated her London 2012 feat and once again won gold in Rio this Thursday.
From Middletown, Ohio, Kayla made to the top of the 78kg division after four matches in Rio. First she faced China’s Zhehui Zhang, beat by ippon (Kuzure-kesa-gatame); then she fought Hungary’s Abigel Joo, beat by ippon (Kuzure-kami-shiho-gatame).
In the semifinal, Kayla had to face Slovenia’s Anamari Velensek and won via ippon (Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame). The final was against France’s Audrey Tcheumeo. The gold medal came via ippon (Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame).
Training under Coach Jimmy Pedro, Kayla is the sole gold medalist in the history of the USA’s Olympic judo program.