Helen Maroulis wins 53kg gold for USA

Helen Maroulis of the United States defeated Japan’s Saori Yoshida 4-1 in the 53-kilogram freestyle final to win the first-ever gold medal for an American women's wrestler.

Helena Maroulis celebrated Thursday’s win by running around the mat in a circle and holding the United States flag with both hands while it was draped over her back.   -  Reuters

Helen Maroulis of the United States defeated Japan’s Saori Yoshida 4-1 in the 53-kilogram freestyle final to win the first-ever gold medal for an American women’s wrestler.

Maroulis celebrated Thursday’s win by running around the mat in a circle and holding the United States flag with both hands while it was draped over her back.

Yoshida was a 16-time world champion who was going for her fourth gold. She hadn’t lost in a major tournament in years, but she had been less dominant in recent tournaments. Maroulis was on a two-year win streak of her own.

Yoshida was trying to become the second woman to ever win four Olympic gold medals in a single event across four Summer Games, and the second wrestler to win four Olympic golds. Yoshida’s teammate, Kaori Icho, accomplished the feats on Wednesday by winning the 58 kilogram gold.

Risako Kawai bags 63kg gold

Risako Kawai of Japan pounded Belarus' Maria Mamashuk 3-0 to take the gold medal in the freestyle wrestling women's 63kg final.

Kazakhstan's Yekaterina Larionova and Monika Ewa Michalik of Poland clinched the bronze medals.

Erica Wiebe wins 75kg gold

In the 75 kilogram gold-medal match, Canada's Erica Wiebe defeated Kazakhstan's Guzel Manyurova 6-0.

Earlier, a dream matchup in the 75kg category was ruined when the United States' Adeline Gray and Brazil's Aline da Silva Ferreira both lost in the quarterfinals.

Gray, the heavily favoured three-time world champion, lost to Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus 3-1. Marzaliuk finished fifth at the 2012 Olympics in the 72 kilogram class, and was third in the 2015 World Championships at 75 kilograms.

Brazil's crowd was fired up for da Silva Ferreira, a silver medalist from the 2014 World Championships, but she fell behind early and lost to Russia's Ekaterina Bukina 4-3.

Russia's Ekaterina Bukina and China's Fengliu Zhang won bronze medals.

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