Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Ronda Rousey became the first-ever American woman to win an Olympic medal in judo, as she earned bronze Wednesday in middleweight competition at the Beijing Games.
Rousey defeated Germany's Annett Boehm in the first of two bronze medal matches and will share the third-place prize with Edith Bosch of the Netherlands.
"I know it won't hurt, but it will take a lot more than this to make judo big in the USA," said Rousey, who was a silver medalist at the 2007 world championships.
Masae Ueno of Japan successfully defended her gold medal from Athens in the middleweight category (63-70kg) by defeating Anaysi Hernandez of Cuba in the final match.
Irakli Tsirekidze of Georgia won the men's middleweight event (81-90kg), defeating Algeria's Amar Benikhlef in the gold medal match.
Tsirekidze, the defending world champion, earned a spot in the gold medal match by defeating Russia's Ivan Pershin, a match of note considering the two men's nations have recently been engaged in a military conflict.
Egypt's Hesham Mesbah and Sergei Aschwanden of Switzerland each earned bronze medals in the men's middleweight.
08/13 08:05:05 ET