LONDON - For the first time in Olympic history, women’s boxing entered the ring during the London games. Claressa Shields, a Flint native, captured gold on Thursday against Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova with a 19-12 victory.
Despite losing early in the world championships, Shields still managed to qualify for the Olympics.
The 17-year-old danced and slugged her way past her 33-year-old opponent, proving herself to be the best amateur middleweight fighter.
Throughout the Olympic games, Shields’ free spirit and incredible strength made her unbeatable.
During the second round, Shields and Torlopova felt each other out evenly in the ring, with a few late exchanges. However, It wasn’t until the third round when Shields became the aggressor, which was instrumental in giving her a 15-10 lead heading into the final round.
In that final round Shields managed to fit in some long punches and outwork her opponent. In the last 30 seconds, Torlopova tried to press action but Shields had already proven herself by posting a 4-2 score.
It wasn’t until Shields was awarded a brown Nike jacket, the attire given to U.S. medalists, that her real life accomplishment finally sank in. She had won gold for the Americans.
With the gold medal, Shields joins an elite class where few United States men have even gone. Shields’ is the first U.S. boxer to win a gold-medal since the 2004 Athens Olympics when Andre Ward took gold in the light-heavyweight category.
She is the only American to capture a gold medal in boxing in this year's Summer Games.
No other fighter from the United States' 12-member roster came home with anything more than a bronze in London.
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