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McPherson beats British favorite at Olympics

Updated August 10, 2012

(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

LONDON (AP) American taekwondo fighter Paige McPherson knocked out British world champion Sarah Stevenson in the first round of the women's 67-kilogram division at the London Olympics.

The 21-year-old McPherson controlled the fight from the start and scored first after nailing Stevenson with a head kick. Stevenson won a bronze at the Beijing Olympics in a heavier weight category.

Stevenson injured her knee in February and has not fought in any major competitions since, but was still picked for the Olympic team by a selection panel that included her husband.

McPherson said she wasn't put off by the thousands of British fans cheering for Stevenson, saying "I saw my family and my boyfriend and that gave me all the enthusiasm I needed."

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