United States' Kayla Harrison reacts after defeating Slovenia's Anamari Velensek during the semi-final of the women's 78-kg judo competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
United States' Kayla Harrison celebrates her gold medal after defeating France's Audrey Tcheumeo in the women's 78-kg judo gold medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Middletown's Kayla Harrison made history Thursday afternoon being the first American to win back-to-back gold medals in judo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In the gold-medal match, Harrison, the top-ranked judoka in the world, beat second-ranked Audrey Tcheumeo of France by ippon in the 78-kilogram weight class.
Harrison cruised into the semifinals, defeating Anamari Velensek of Slovenia in 1 minute, 43 seconds with an armbar move that immediately ended the match.
In 2012, 26-year-old Harrison won her first gold medal at the London Olympics in the same weight class.