American Claressa Shields Advances To Gold Medal Match, Teammate Marlen Esparze Wins Bronze

The American men may have been shut out of the medals in the 2012 Olympics, but two American women will be heading home with hardware after their solid performances in the ring. Claressa Shields will have a chance to fight for a gold medal in the women's middleweight tournament, while Marlen Esparza is heading home with a bronze medal.

Esparza had an excellent flyweight tournament, but will almost certainly be disappointed that she came up short of the final bout. She was defeated, 10-8, by Chinese boxer Ren Cancan on Wednesday. Cancan moves on to face Great Britain's Nicola Adams in the final on Thursday. There is no bronze medal match, and Esparza will share the bronze with Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte of India.

Shields was dominant in her semifinal bout, defeating Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan 29-15. She awaits the winner of the other semifinal match between Li Jinzi and Nadezda Torlopova.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.

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