Greenwich girl Gibbons, 25, dazzled spectators as she floored French athlete Audrey Tcheumeo in today’s London 2012 judo event.
Gibbons is now guaranteed a podium finish – possibly a gold – Britain’s first judo Olympic medal since 2000.
British judo fans were jubilant as Gibbons claimed three fights, dominating Yahima Ramirez of Portugal, Mongolia’s Lkhamdegd Purevjargal and Holland’s Marhinde.
Gibbons only stepped up a weight division this year and is still recovering from a shoulder injury.
Until the last minute of Gibbon’s final match today, the score was even. However, with just 10 seconds to go, she reverse leg swept her opponent to land what had initially been an ippon*, but was then downgraded to a 10-point wazari.
Britain is now holding its breath that Gemma can produce a gold in tonight’s judo finals.
*Baffled by judo terms? Here’s a guide:
Ippon – A perfect throw. Victory in one move (10 points)
Wazari – A score, almost an Ippon (score value of 7 points)
Sudden death – Used as a tiebreaker. Play ends as soon as one competitor is ahead of the others.
Judo – The name of the sport itself means gentle or flexible way. ‘The way of yielding’