BRAZIL RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES.jpg
Helen Louise Maroulis of the USA (Blue) and Saori Yoshida of Japan (Red) during the women's Freestyle 53kg gold medal bout of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Wrestling events at the Carioca Arena 2 in the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 18 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Helen Maroulis shocked superstar Saori Yoshida at the Rio Games to claim a first-ever Olympic gold for an American women's wrestler and deny her Japanese opponent a fourth Olympic title.

Maroulis won the 53-kilogramme freestyle final 4-1 and celebrated her biggest ever success in utter delight.

"I've dreamed of this my whole life. I put it on this pedestal," Maroulis said.

"I've been dreaming about wrestling Saori for so long. She's a hero. She's the most decorated wrestler in the sport. It's such an honour to wrestle her."

Yoshida was bidding for her fourth straight gold after winning the previous three in the 53kg category. She also has 13 world titles and is the most decorated freestyle wrestler.

By losing, Yoshida failed to become the second woman to win four Olympic individual golds in a row, the first being wrestling team-mate Kaori Icho, who won the 58kg the previous day after 2004, 2008 and 2012 titles in the 63kg event.

There was more luck in the 53kg category for Japan with Risako Kawai taking gold. The other final in the 75kg category was won by Erica Elizabeth Wiebe of Canada.

"I just took it one takedown at a time," Wiebe said. "I didn't think about who I was wrestling, I didn't think about what they were.

"I just thought about what I needed to do in that moment and I still don't really believe it."

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