Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win a taekwondo event at the Olympics.
Zolotic faced off against Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee in the gold medal bout of the women’s 57kg taekwondo event on Sunday. It was the third gold medal won by the United States in the history of taekwondo at the Olympics.
The 18-year-old from Florida defeated Nada Laaraj of Morocco 11-4 in the Round of 16. She followed that with a 17-9 win in the quarterfinals against Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun. Zolotic punched her ticket to the gold medal bout with a 28-5 throttling in the semifinals against Chinese Taipei’s Lo Chia-ling. Zolotic won the gold medal bout over Minina by a score of 25-18, taking full control late.
Zolotic’s victory brings Team USA’s all-time Olympic taekwondo medal total to 10. The sport first earned full Olympic status at the 2000 Sydney Games.