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Local Harrison Wins U.S.'s First Olympic Judo Gold

This article is more than 8 years old.
Wakefield's Kayla Harrison celebrates after beating Gemma Gibbons, of Great Britain, for the gold medal during the women's 78-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics Thursday. (AP)
Wakefield's Kayla Harrison celebrates after beating Gemma Gibbons, of Great Britain, for the gold medal during the women's 78-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics Thursday. (AP)

A Massachusetts resident has become the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo.

Kayla Harrison took the women's 78-kilogram title Thursday at the London Games by defeating Britain's Gemma Gibbons in a final she dominated from the start. Harrison got a stronger grip on Gibbons and threw her twice.

The 22-year-old Harrison is originally from Ohio but is currently living in Marblehead and training in Wakefield under two-time Olympic bronze medalist Jimmy Pedro.

Her medal is the U.S.'s second in judo this week: Teammate Marti Malloy won a bronze in the women's 57-kilogram division.

Harrison is ranked No. 4 in the world and is a former world champion.

She said she was focused on the gold from the start.

This article was originally published on August 02, 2012.

This program aired on August 2, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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