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Women wrestler Huynh wins Canada's first gold at Beijing Olympics
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19:43, August 16, 2008


Carol Huynh of Canada (red) poses after victory ceremony of the women's freestyle 48kg at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games wrestling event in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. Carol Huynh beat Icho Chiharu of Japan and got the gold medal. (Xinhua)


Carol Huynh won Canada the first gold at the Beijing Olympics here on Saturday, beating Chiharu Ichoof Japan in the final of women's freestyle 48kg final.

Huynh overwhelmed her rival in the comfortable victory of two bouts, stunning thousands of Japanese spectators who planned to witness Icho's win after she got a silver in the Athens Games four years ago.

Huynh, 28, won Canada's first-ever wrestling Olympic gold and its first at Beijing Olympics. She cried after the victory ceremony.


Carol Huynh of Canada (red) competes with Icho Chiharu of Japan during the women's freestyle 48kg final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games wrestling event in Beijing, China, Aug. 16, 2008. Carol Huynh won the bout and got the gold medal. (Xinhua)


"It feels pretty special," said Huynh. "I know we have more to come, but it's nice to be the first one. I was a little nervous andheavy on my feet, but I just kept wrestling."

Huynh threw her arms in the air and then dropped her face into her hands after the win before running into her coaches arms.

Huynh later grabbed a Canadian flag from a fan on the stand, thecoach hoisted her onto his shoulders and carried her out of the gym.

It was Icho's second time to miss the gold. She lost to Irini Merleni in the final of the 2004 Athens Games.

"Huynh was quite strong today," said Icho. "So I should accept the result."

"I have been working hard since the Athens Games with my youngerKaori. To me, this medal is gold."

European champion Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan and 2004 Athens champion Irini Merleni of Ukraine finished joint third.

Merleni was defeated by silver medalist Icho in the quarterfinals.

"I lost in the last five seconds of the match," said Merleni on her loss to Icho. "I relaxed for one moment and you can't make mistakes at this level."

"Winning the bronze medal was actually harder than winning the gold," added Merleni. "It is a pity that I failed to defend the Olympic gold. But on the other hand, thank God I got the bronze. I appreciate this medal."

Stadnik defeated Tatyana Baktyuk, Kazakhstan in another bronze medal match. She could not accept the result, though it is the first medal in history for Azerbaijan in women's wrestling.

"I felt nothing. I am not too excited because I came for gold," said Stadnik. "I had wished for something better, so I'm not satisfied with my performance."  

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 35 13 13 61
2 USA 19 21 25 65
3 Australia 11 10 12 33
4 Great Britain 11 7 8 26
5 Germany 9 6 7 22
6 South Korea 8 9 5 22

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