It's rare that Americans take Olympic medals in judo, a sport often dominated by the East Asian nations that originated (Japan) and popularized (China, South Korea) the sport. But the 57-kilogram (about 126 pounds) category had never been won at the Olympic Games by an East Asian competitor, and American Marti Malloy snagged a bronze in women's 57kg judo on Monday.
Malloy upset Giulia Quintavalle in the first bronze medal match, winning by ippon in 2:43 over the gold medalist in the weight class from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The medal is the second-ever Olympic medal for a U.S. woman competing in judo; the first came in the 70kg weight class in Beijing, and was won by current MMA star Ronda Rousey.
In the gold medal match, Japan's Kaori Matsumoto took the first gold medal won by an Asian competitor in the women's lightweight class by defeating Romania's Corina Caprioriu in just 17 seconds of Golden Score sudden death. Caprioriu was charged with a hansoku make, ending the match and giving Matsumoto the victory by ippon.
Automne Pavia of France took the other bronze medal awarded in the event.