Travis Stevens is one win away from the United States’ first-ever gold medal in men’s judo.
Stevens forced his semifinal opponent, Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia, to tap out with 53 seconds left in the match. At the time, Stevens was trailing based on penalties before getting Tchrikishvili in a chokehold that the Georgian could not escape.
Tchrikishvili, the 2014 world champion, was ranked No. 1 in the world entering the tournament.
Stevens, the five-seed, will face sixth-seed Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia in the men’s 81kg Gold Medal Match, which will tentatively take place around 4:30 p.m. ET and will stream live on NBCOlympics.com. The actual match time could be earlier or later, depending on the length of the other medal matches that precede it.
The last American male to win a medal in judo was Jimmy Pedro, the current USA Judo coach, who did it at the 2004 Games. Stevens has guaranteed himself at least a silver medal.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Kayla Harrison became the first American — male or female — to win gold in judo.