Tamyra Mensah-Stock has become the first black American and second American ever to take home gold in women’s wrestling.
The 28-year-old defeated Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria in the 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling final Tuesday at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Reuters reported. Mensah-Stock got on the scoreboard first and managed to hold off her opponent to the final buzzer, winning 4-1.
“It feels amazing, I’m trying not to cry,” Mensah-Stock said, according to Reuters. “I want to go hide in a room but people keep pushing me to places.” She also said winning was “a dream come true” and that she “knew from the beginning” she could be a gold medalist, the outlet noted.
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) August 3, 2021
The American entered the match as the top seed and reigning world champion, according to NBC Dallas Fort Worth. Her opponent, Oborududu, is a three-time Olympian and 10-time African champion, and her silver medal finish marks the first time a Nigerian athlete — male or female — has taken home a medal in wrestling, The Washington Post reported.
Helen Maroulis was the first American woman to make history and earn Olympic gold in the sport when she upset Japan’s Saori Yoshida at the Rio games in 2016, according to The Washington Post. Woman’s wrestling has been featured at the Olympics since 2004. (RELATED: Katie Ledecky Dominates First Ever Women’s 1500M, Leading Team USA To A 1-2 Finish)
Mensah-Stock feels her accomplishment, and those of other top female wrestlers, will set an example for girls across the U.S.
“It means that they see someone like themselves on that podium,” Mensah-Stock reportedly said. “Someone like Helen [Maroulis] on that podium showing them just because you’re a female it doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the biggest of goals. And being an Olympic champ is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. And I can say it’s well worth it.”