Tamyra Mensah-Stock becomes first Black American woman to win gold in wrestling

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Tamyra Mensah-Stock won Olympic gold in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling final on Tuesday, becoming the first Black American woman to win Olympic gold in wrestling and the second American woman overall.

Women’s wrestling has only been an Olympic sport since 2004.

Afterwards, Mensah-Stock said she hoped to encourage more young girls to consider the sport.

“These young women are going to see themselves in a number of ways and they’re going to look up there and go, I can do that,” she said. “I can see myself.”

Mensah-Stock’s story is one of perseverance. She first took up wrestling after being bullied in high school. She almost quit after her father died in a car accident on the way home from one of her tournaments.

In Tokyo, she was dominant from start to finish. She defeated Japan’s Sara Dosho, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, 10-0 in the first round. She later beat Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova, a former world champion, 10-4 in the semifinal.

In the final, Mensah-Stock defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1.

Helen Maroulis was the first American woman to win gold back in 2016.