xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Tokyo Olympics: Rockville native Helen Maroulis earns bronze, becomes first American woman to win two medals in wrestling

Five years after becoming the first American woman to win Olympic gold in freestyle wrestling, Rockville native Helen Maroulis made history again Thursday morning at the Tokyo Olympics.

The three-time world champion defeated Mongolia’s Khongorzul Boldsaikhan, 11-0, to finish in third place at 57-kilograms and earn the bronze medal, becoming the first American woman to earn more than one Olympic medal in wrestling.

Advertisement

Maroulis, the 53-kilogram Olympic champion at the 2016 Rio Games and 2015 and 2017 world champion, won her first two matches In Tokyo. She beat China’s Rong Ningning, 8-4, in the opening round and Ukraine’s Tetyana Kit, 8-0, in the quarterfinals. The 29-year-old’s bid for a second gold ended with a 2-1 semifinal loss to Japan’s Risako Kawai, the 63-kilogram Olympic champion in 2016 and 2017, 2018 and 2019 world champion at three different weight classes.

Rockville native Helen Maroulis celebrates with her bronze medal on the podium after placing third in the women's 57-kilogram freestyle wrestling event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Rockville native Helen Maroulis celebrates with her bronze medal on the podium after placing third in the women's 57-kilogram freestyle wrestling event at the Tokyo Olympics. (Aaron Favila/AP)

Kawai went on to win gold by beating Belarus’ Iryna Kurachkina, 5-0, in the final.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“I felt like I needed to be stronger in the position so that I could kind of impose my will, and I felt a little bit more like I was reacting to her,” Maroulis said after her semifinal defeat in which all three points were scored for passivity.

Since winning gold in Rio, the former Magruder High standout had two concussions in 2018 and the effects lingered for months. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but said in March that she has fully recovered.

Maroulis, who trained out of State College, Pennsylvania, also wrestled in the Olympic trials with a torn MCL.

“If you told me a year ago that I was going to feel this healthy today, I just — I would have probably not have believed you,” she said. “So to be here like this is like — I’m so grateful.”

Advertisement

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Rockville native Helen Maroulis celebrates after defeating Mongolia's Anastasia Nichita in the bronze medal match in the women's 57-kilogram freestyle wrestling event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Rockville native Helen Maroulis celebrates after defeating Mongolia's Anastasia Nichita in the bronze medal match in the women's 57-kilogram freestyle wrestling event at the Tokyo Olympics. (Aaron Favila/AP)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement