Olympics

Maroulis wins first-ever gold medal for US in women's wrestling

Aug. 18, 2016: United States' Helen Louise Maroulis celebrates after beating Japan's Saori Yoshida for the gold during the women's wrestling freestyle 53-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Aug. 18, 2016: United States' Helen Louise Maroulis celebrates after beating Japan's Saori Yoshida for the gold during the women's wrestling freestyle 53-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Helen Maroulis of the United States defeated Japan's Saori Yoshida 4-1 in the 53-kilogram freestyle final to win the first-ever gold medal for an American women's wrestler.

Maroulis celebrated Thursday's win by running around the mat in a circle and holding the United States flag with both hands while it was draped over her back.

Yoshida was a 16-time world champion who was going for her fourth gold. She hadn't lost in a major tournament in years, but she had been less dominant in recent tournaments. Maroulis was on a two-year win streak of her own.

Yoshida was trying to become the second woman to ever win four Olympic gold medals in a single event across four Summer Games, and the second wrestler to win four Olympic golds. Yoshida's teammate, Kaori Icho, accomplished the feats Wednesday by winning the 58 kilogram gold.