LONDON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Kayla Harrison won the first Olympic judo gold medal in history for the United States Thursday, finishing first in the 78-kilogram class.
Harrison became the first American female world champion two years ago and added the Olympic gold with a victory in the championship bout over Gemma Gibbons of Britain.
The only other Olympic medal in judo for an American woman had been the bronze won by Ronda Rousey in Beijing four years ago.
Gibbons made a surprise run to the finals by defeating current world champion Audrey Tcheumeo of France.
Tcheumeo wound up with one of the two bronze medals awarded, the other one going to Mayra Aguiar.
It was the fifth judo medal at these Olympics for the women from France, four of them being bronze.
In the men's 100-kilogram class, 2011 world champion Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia defeated defending Olympic champion Tuyshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia for the gold.
Bronze medals went to Dimitri Peters of Germany and to Henk Grol of the Netherlands.
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