Coming into the 2012 London Olympics, the United States had won one medal in women's judo -- a bronze in 2008 by Ronda Rousey. They've already added another medal in London and have a chance to make history with a second medal in the same Olympics on Thursday.
Marti Malloy won a bronze medal in the women's 57-kilogram category on Monday, doubling the United States medal total in women's judo. Her teammate Kayla Harrison will attempt to join Malloy on the Olympic podium. Harrison, the 2010 World Champion, will compete Thursday in the 78-kilogram category. She enters the competition ranked No. 2 in the world.
Jimmy Pedro, the USA's Olympic judo coach, thinks Harrison has a shot to make history and win the United States its first ever gold medal in judo.
If Harrison makes it to the semifinals, she will probably fight world No. 1 Mayra Aguiar from Brazil; the two have split victories in recent years. "The winner of this match is likely to win it all, and I like our odds," Pedro said.
The United States has never been considered one of the top contenders in judo, but recent performances by Rousey and Malloy and a good showing by Harrison Thursday could be a sign of things to come.