Colorado’s Anastasija Zolotic earns U.S. its first Olympic gold medal in women’s taekwondo

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TOKYO — Anastasija Zolotic won the United States’ archetypal golden medal successful women’s taekwondo by beating Russian jock Tatiana Minina 25-17 connected Sunday to assertion the featherweight part title.

The 18-year-old Zolotic lets retired a primal shriek arsenic she pulls connected her helmet earlier each round. The Largo, Florida, autochthonal has been telling friends and household since aboriginal puerility that she would beryllium an Olympic champion, and she needed lone 1 travel to the Games to marque it happen.

“My 8-year-old aforesaid was moving astir the schoolhouse gait saying I was going to beryllium Olympic champion but she could ne'er person imagined what this infinitesimal is like,” said Zolotic, who moved to Colorado Springs earlier her 17th birthday. “It’s unbelievable. It truly hasn’t sunk successful yet.”

Zolotic and Minina had a high-scoring archetypal circular and a tactical 2nd but Zolotic picked isolated her Russian hostile successful the 3rd with two-point assemblage kicks aft nursing a one-point pb into the last round.

Zolotic was lone the 4th American to scope an Olympic taekwondo last and lone the 2nd woman. Steven Lopez won the U.S. team’s lone 2 erstwhile Olympic golds successful taekwondo.

“Isn’t that amazing? I’m conscionable gladsome I tin bash thing to rise its illustration successful the US,” she said. “I conscionable privation the state to beryllium arrogant of me, to stock this flood of emotions.”

Ulugbek Rashitov won Uzbekistan’s archetypal Olympic taekwondo golden medal successful melodramatic manner by beating Bradly Sinden of Britain.

The 19-year-old Rashitov landed a four-point turning assemblage footwear wrong the last 15 seconds to crook a two-point shortage into a two-point pb and the featherweight hung connected for a 34-29 triumph to assertion Uzbekistan’s first-ever medal successful taekwondo.

Rashitov is comparatively inexperienced connected the satellite signifier but his occurrence echoes Uzbekistan’s large strides successful combat sports, including the Uzbek boxing team’s breakthrough show successful Rio de Janeiro.

Sinden fell agonizingly abbreviated of becoming Britain’s archetypal antheral Olympic golden medalist successful taekwondo, a fashionable home athletics with an awesome database of planetary women’s champions. Two-time Olympic champion Jade Jones failed successful her bid for a 3rd consecutive golden earlier Sunday with a shocking nonaccomplishment to the Refugee Olympic Team’s Kimia Alizadeh.

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