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Rousey takes home Olympic bronze in judo

August 13, 2008 |  9:43 am

Ronda Rousey on the podium in the Beijing University of Science and Technology Gymnasium to accept the Olympic bronze medal in the 70 kg class.

Ronda Rousey on Wednesday night won an Olympic bronze medal in the 70kg judo division. The reigning World silver medalist won five matches and lost only one match on her way to the medal.

Rousey, who is from Santa Monica and has been training in Wakefield, Mass., is the first U.S. woman to win a judo medal since the sport became a full Olympic medal sport in 1992.

Here's some of what the 21-year-old athlete told USA Judo after the medals ceremony: “I think I fought my absolute best today. The match I lost was a great match. I didn’t even feel myself being thrown, but when I looked at it later, it was actually a pretty good throw.”

In the repechage (or second chance) match after her loss, Rousey threw Rachida Ouerdane of Algeria for a koka (smallest points) and then pinned her for ippon (instant win) to advance to the evening session. Rosey then threw 2007 World medalist Anett Mészáros of Hungary for a yuko (quarter-point) to advance to the bronze-medal final.

Rousey won the bronze by defeating Annett Boehm of Germany with a sode (sleeve throw) and held on for the remainder of the match.

"I'm not used to people chanting, 'USA! USA!' when I'm competing," Rousey told USA Judo. "It was nice to have kind of a home crowd here today."

Rousey, who will attend (an as-yet undetermined) college in Southern California in the fall, is one of only nine U.S. athletes to have won a full Olympic medal in judo competition.

Photo: U.S. athlete Ronda Rousey accepts the Olympic bronze medal at the Beijing University of Science and Technology Gymnasium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE