LONDON (AP) — Claressa Shields won the first middleweight gold medal in women’s Olympic boxing, a dominant victory by an exuberant American teenager who danced, brawled and even stuck out her tongue.
Irish lightweight Katie Taylor and British flyweight Nicola Adams also won gold medals Thursday at the London Games in a landmark tournament with the first Olympic titles.
The 17-year-old Shields is one of the breakout stars of the games, capping her rapid rise through the amateur ranks in the past two years with three convincing performances. Her power and elusiveness were far too much for Russia’s 33-year-old Nadezda Torlopova, nearly twice Shields’ age and half her speed at times.
Most of the raucous crowd came to see Taylor, who claimed Ireland’s first gold medal at these Olympics amid a patriotic fervor highlighted by Irish flags and songs.