Olympic Judo Recap: Kayla Harrison Wins First-Ever Judo Gold for the U.S

Yahoo Contributor Network

The penultimate day of Olympic judo in London was an historic one as Kayla Harrison won the gold in the women's Half-Heavyweight class-the first-ever Olympic title for the U.S. in the sport.

Harrison's victory by yuko over Gemma Gibbons of Great Britain was a thriller in front of a partisan home crowd for her adversary.

The U.S. has competed in judo since it was introduced to the Olympics in 1964 for men, while it gained official medal status for women in 1992.

The 22-year-old Harrison, however, was hardly a longshot for a podium finish in London. She already had two World Championships medals to her credit, with the most notable one being the gold in 2010.

Audrey Tcheumeo of France and Brazil's Mayra Aguiar were awarded bronze medals through the repechage.

On the men's side at 100 kilograms, Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia took the title by ippon over defending Olympic champion Naidangiin Tuvshinbayar of Mongolia.

Russia now has three golds in men's judo at the London Games, edging out South Korea's two with one day remaining in the competition.

Shockingly, Japan has not won a men's judo gold in 2012 and may leave an Olympics without one for the first time ever.

Germany's Dmitri Peters and Henk Grol of the Netherlands earned the bronze medals.

Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from tomorrow's final day of judo competition in London.

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