Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): China Agricultural University Gymnasium, Beijing
Date Started: August 16, 2008
Date Finished: August 16, 2008
Format: Single elimination tournament. Competitors losing to the finalists entered repechage tournament for bronze medals.
|Bronze:|| Tonya Verbeek
Considered the greatest ever female wrestler, the overwhelming favorite was Japan’s Saori Yoshida. Yoshida was the defending gold medalist, and had won the World Championships in 2002-03 and 2005-08. She had only lost one international match, that against American Marcie van Dusen earlier in 2008 at a World Cup meet, which ended Yoshida’s 119-match winning streak. In the semi-finals, Yoshida defeated Canadian Tonya Verbeek, who had lost the 2004 Olympic final to Yoshida. The result was the same as Yoshida crushed Verbeek, 8-0, and went to the final against China’s Xu Li. It was not much of a match as Yoshida threw Xu in 2:43. Van Dusen lost in the quarter-finals to Colombian Jackeline Renteria and was not even eligible for the bronze medal tournament, which was open only to wrestlers who had lost to the finalists. Verbeek and Renteria came through to win the bronze medals.
Yoshida would win her third consecutive Olympic gold in this class in 2012. Between 2002-14, she won 12 consecutive World Championships, and she also won four gold medals at the Asian Games. She retired in early 2014, but there has been some hint that she will return in 2016 to attempt to win a fourth Olympic gold medal.
|9||Marcie Van Dusen||26||United States||USA|