CHIBA, Japan — As Tamyra Mensah-Inventory celebrated successful her Olympic gold medal, she hoped her victory would encourage Black women in the US to contemplate wrestling.
When she defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1 within the girls’s 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling ultimate on Tuesday, she grew to become the primary American Black girl to win Olympic gold in wrestling and the second American girl total.
“These younger girls are going to see themselves in quite a lot of methods and they are going to lookup there and go, I can try this,” she stated. “I can see myself.”
Helen Maroulis was the primary American girl to earn Olympic gold within the sport when she upset Japan’s Saori Yoshida to win the 53-kg class in 2016.
Black girls have had their moments in U.S. girls’s wrestling. Toccara Montgomery received gold on the Pan-Am Video games in 2003, Iris Smith received a world title in 2005 and Randi Miller earned bronze on the 2008 Olympics.
“They paved the way in which for me,” Mensah-Inventory stated.
Oborududu made historical past additionally as the primary Nigerian — male or feminine — to earn a wrestling medal on the Olympics.
“After wrestling to get into the ultimate yesterday, I used to be having plenty of messages, plenty of calls,” Oborududu stated. “I locked down my cellphone, as a result of I do not wish to obtain any calls, or something that was actually disturbing me. I switched off my cellphone so I used to be not in any form of strain. I do know that I’ve created the document for my nation.”
Mensah-Inventory was pleased with the truth that she wrestled a Black African girl for the gold medal. Mensah-Inventory’s father is from Ghana, a nation in West Africa.
“I am like, ‘Oh my gosh, have a look at us representing,” Mensah-Inventory stated. “It is so freaking superior. You make historical past, I am making historical past. We’re making historical past. So it meant so much.”
Mensah-Inventory, the No. 1 seed, blitzed by a formidable subject. She defeated Japan’s Sara Dosho — a 2016 Olympic gold medalist — 10-0 within the first spherical.
She beat China’s Feng Zhao 10-0 within the quarterfinals, then beat Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova — a former world champion — 10-4 within the semifinal.
She completed the dominant run by defeating Oborududu, the No. 2 seed and a three-time Olympian, within the ultimate.
“Nicely, you have to beat one of the best to know that you are the greatest,” Mensah-Inventory stated. “And that is what I preserve telling myself. It does not matter the draw. You go on the market and also you beat whoever is in entrance of you as a result of that is the way you inform someone that you just had been one of the best. I am the unhealthy draw.”
Cherkasova defeated Dosho in a bronze medal match. The opposite bronze went to Kyrgyzstan’s Meerim Zhumanazarova. She defeated Mongolia’s Soronzonboldyn Battsetseg, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.
Hungary’s Tamas Lorincz defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Akzhol Makhmudov 2-1 within the Greco-Roman 77-kg males’s ultimate.
Lorincz, 34, was the highest seed. He was a silver medalist within the 66-kg occasion on the 2012 London Olympics.
Makhmudov, 22, was competing in his first Olympics. He dominated his first three matches, outscoring his opponents by a mixed 26-3 earlier than reaching the ultimate. Bronze medalists had been Japan’s Shohei Yabiku and Azerbaijan’s Rafig Huseynov.
The Russian Olympic Committee’s Musa Evloev defeated Armenia’s Artur Aleksanyan 5-1 within the Greco-Roman 97-kg males’s ultimate.
Evloev was the No. 1 seed and a two-time world champion. Aleksanyan, the No. 2 seed, was the 2016 Olympic gold medalist at 98 kg and a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist at 96 kg. Aleksanyan injured his left leg throughout his semifinal match and had it closely taped for the ultimate.
Bronze medalists had been Poland’s Tadeusz Michalik and Iran’s Mohammadhadi Saravi.
American Kayla Miracle had excessive hopes. She opened the day in opposition to China’s Jia Lengthy within the 62-kg girls’s freestyle class. Lengthy scored a passivity level, however Miracle went forward 2-1 on an publicity seconds earlier than the break. Lengthy scored on a raise with about two minutes remaining for the deciding factors.
As a result of Lengthy did not make the ultimate, Miracle was ineligible for the repechage and misplaced her likelihood to medal.