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Flashback Friday Olympic Edition – Kayla Harrison Takes Gold in London

Sit yourself down and watch this thrilling gold medal match in the women’s -78kg division from London 2012. Kayla Harrison wins America’s very first Olympic gold medal.

First score sequence starts at 2:35 of the video, with a nice hip toss for yuko by Kayla. Gibbons has her left foot forward, Kayla has her right foot forward. Kayla starts with the right lapel grip, gets her left in for double lapels, then shifts her right arm under Gibbon’s left arm and across her back, steps in for the koshi-waza.

In another yuko-scoring sequence starting at 7:45, I was amused to see that even in the Olympic final Kayla utilizes the “look at the ref after the throw to confirm a score.” It works!

It’s not until the final 25 seconds that Kayla really gets into stalling mode, forcing Gibbons to come after her. Up until that point she is much more aggressive than the Brit, with constant attacks trying to finish the match.

Not gonna lie, I teared up a little watching this match. So much emotion! Very few people get to the very top of the mountain in the judo world, and here she is. Enjoy.


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