2020 Tokyo Olympics: Anastasija Zolotic first American woman to win gold in taekwondo

Anastasija Zolotic made history on Sunday, defeating Russia’s Tatiana Minina to become America’s first-ever female taekwondo gold medalist. The 18-year-old phenom defeated Minina 25-17 at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe Hall. Zolitic’s path to gold widened once Britain’s Jade Jones — winner of the past two Olympic golds — and Korea’s Ah-reum Lee fell in the round of 16.Still, Zolitic faced stiff competition en route to her historic finish. The Colorado Springs native took down Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun, the world’s second-ranked player, in the quarterfinals before topping the fourth-ranked Minina in the finals.Zolitic’s legend grew long before the 2020 Olympics, as she earned silver at the 2018 Youth Olympics and gold in the 2018 Junior World Championships. Prior to this year’s Games, Zolotic claimed golds in the 2021 Mexico Open, 2021 Sofia Open and 2019 Pan Am games. The gold medal Zolitic earned was America’s fourth of the Tokyo Games as the country shook off a medal-less Day 1 to rank second in overall medals by Day 3. With 10 medals so far — four gold, two silver, four bronze — the U.S. sits just behind China’s 11. Expect the U.S. to continue its climb to the top of the table as star athletes, such as swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles, get a chance to compete for gold.

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