Paige McPherson’s quest to return to the podium hit an obstacle in the form of No. 1 seed Matea Jelic at the semifinal stage.
Now the American taekwondo competitor, 30, will look to match the bronze she won at London 2012.
McPherson, the No. 5 seeded welterweight, posted an 8-5 win over Azeribaijan’s Farida Azizova in the Round of 16, and then beat No. 4 competitor Nur Tatar of Turkey.
That quarterfinal was tight and low-scoring, a 3-1 win for McPherson to set up a semifinal berth and the guarantee of a medal match.
Jelic beat McPherson 15-4, though that margin is closer than Jelic’s previous two competitors stayed to the European champion, who won her quarterfinal by an astounding 30-9.