Lucie Decosse of France finally got an Olympic gold.
She defeated German Kerstin Thiele in a tense final Wednesday in the 70-kilogram category of Olympic judo - a match marked by aggressive grabbing and pulling that sometimes resembled a schoolyard fight.
Decosse won a silver at Beijing and is a three-time world champion. She dropped to the mat on her back clutching her face after winning and had to be coaxed to her feet by the referee for the official announcement that she had won.
The 30-year-old was in top form Wednesday, winning several of her fights with a match-ending ippon. One bout ended in just 10 seconds after Decosse flipped her opponent flat on her back.
Decosse said she knew she would win when she saw Thiele in tears after her semifinal.
''I knew she was happy just to be in the final but for me, I wasn't there to be in the final,'' she said. ''I wanted to win and I did.''
Her medal is the first judo gold France has won at the London Games. It has three bronzes.