Anastasija Zolotic Wins USA's 1st-Ever Olympic Gold Medal in Women's Taekwondo

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 25, 2021

United States's Anastasija Zolotic holds her gold medal during a ceremony for the taekwondo women's 57kg at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in taekwondo Sunday, defeating Russian Tatiana Minina 25-17 in the featherweight final.

Zolotic pulled away in the deciding third round to defeat Minina, becoming an Olympic gold medal winner at just 18. She's the second American athlete to win gold in taekwondo, joining Steven Lopez, who won gold twice.

Zolotic previously won gold medals at the Pan American Games and World Taekwondo Junior Championships. 

Great Britain's Jade Jones, winner of the last two Olympic gold medals in the weight class, was eliminated in the round of 16, helping pave the way for Zolotic's triumph.

"Hopefully [my win] will give it a better image than it has and bring it back up to where USA taekwondo deserves to be: one of the best sports that you can watch," Zolotic told reporters.