LONDON (AP/WDTN) - Kayla Harrison became the first American to win an Olympic judo gold medal Thursday, beating Gemma Gibbons in the final of the women's 78-kilogram category.
Harrison dominated the final from the start, getting a stronger grip on Gibbons and managing to throw her twice.
It was the second American judo medal this week, as teammate Marti Malloy won a bronze in the women's 57-kilogram division.
The 22-year-old Harrison is a former world champion and was in top form on Thursday. She dispatched several of her opponents with a match-ending ippon, one in less than a minute.
The bronze medals were won by Audrey Tcheumeo of France and Mayra Aguiar of Brazil.
Harrison's gold brings a shining light to her life that was once covered in darkness. Harrison says she was sexually abused by her former coach when she was just 13. The abuse continued for three years.
"I feel like I remember having to go through the trial and having to go through pressing charges and feeling so wrong," Kayla said during an interview at her Boston training center.
You can read more about her her message to other sexual abuse victims here.
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