M. Jelic of Croatia defeated Lauren Williams of the United Kingdom in a nail-biting gold medal match at the Makuhari Messe Hall, ultimately taking home the gold by a score of 24-21.
M. Jelic Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Both players came out swinging, but the Croat’s counterattacks helped him even the score in the opening round (5-4), and then again in the second (10-10). Williams led 18-13 with 45 seconds remaining in the decisive game.
M. Jelic was exhausted, but with 26 seconds left he closed the gap to within three points of Williams. After the score was 21-18 in favour of the Croat, he hit the opponent in the head with 11 seconds remaining to tie the game.
Williams, who for two years she and her mother lived in a caravan so that she could practise with the national team, said, “Not enough.” Almost had her…. I’m satisfied with my efforts during the day; a silver medal isn’t too shabby, after all.
Brazilian Milena Titoneli defeated Haitian Lauren Lee 26-5 in the repechage to go to the first bronze medal match against Côte d’Ivoire’s Ruth Gbagbi. The veteran Ivorian, on the other hand, won bronze once again at the Olympics.
In the final 30 seconds of a close fight, she prevailed thanks to a well-placed head shot that made the score 12-6 with just 10 seconds remaining. In thrilling fashion, Côte d’Ivoire’s Gbagbi took up the bronze medal in the first round, 12-8.
U.S. representative Paige McPherson was waiting for the victor of the second repechage bout, and she got Egypt’s newlywed Hedaya Wahba (now Malak), who soundly defeated Malia Paseka of Tonga, 19-0.
They were only two years apart in age and had barely a centimetre in height difference between them. Both competitors were Olympic bronze medalists, but the victor would advance in the rankings.
After two close rounds, the American emerged with a 5-3 advantage. McPherson had a 5-4 lead midway through the third when she looked to twist her ankle.
The Egyptian capitalised with two trunks, kicks, and a head kick, giving him an insurmountable 17-6 lead that he never relinquished on the way to a decisive victory.
An approved Egyptian crowd created a boisterous backdrop of celebration as Wahba leaped into the air and her coach collapsed to the ground in ecstasy, especially as Wahba’s countryman Seif Eissa was competing in the men’s -80kg division the very next match and also won bronze.
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