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Rio 2016 Olympic Freestyle Wrestling: Day 2 Recap – Maroulis takes gold

Helen Maroulis becomes first American woman to take an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling.

Olympics: Wrestling Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Day two of freestyle wrestling kicked off in Rio as more women took to the mats. While day one featured history being made and a newcomer for Team USA; day two featured some established names and an American taking a gold medal.

Helen Maroulis walked away with the gold medal in the 53kg weight class after defeating Saori Yoshida of Japan with the score of 4-1. With this win she became the first American female gold medalist and she did so by defeating Yoshida who is a 16-time World and Olympic champion.

Her day included going 5-0 in multiple matches in which she dominated her opponents. Maroulis is a decorated wrestler, winning a gold, silver and bronze at the 2015, 2012 and 2014 World Championships respectively. Her mantle also includes a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Adeline Gray was expected to have a great showing during the Olympics; however she would fall short in her quest to take home a medal.

Gray started the day off with a bang as she pinned Andrea Olaya Gutierrez of Columbia. Even with that momentum behind her, she would falter in her next bout against Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus. In what was a competitive match, Gray ended up losing 4-1; ending her Olympic bid.

Elena Pirozhkova represented America in the 63kg weight class and went 2-1 on the day.

Pirozhkova started off strong with a 10-7 win over Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria. She wouldn’t stop there as a come from behind win over defending world champion Battsetseg Soronzonbold of Mongolia helped her reach the semifinals. She faced off against Maria Mamshuk but dropped that match 3-2 which pushed her into the match to wrestle for the bronze. Unfortunately, Team USA would end the day with only one medal as Yekaterina Larionova of Kazakhstan defeated Pirozhkova 4-3.

The women of Team USA performed very well overall as Maroulis made history and the rest of the team made strong showings.

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