LONDON -- U.S. middleweight Claressa Shields won the Olympic gold medal Thursday, capping her swift rise to the top of women's boxing with a 19-12 victory over Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.

The 17-year-old Shields shuffled, danced and slugged her way past her 33-year-old opponent, showing off the free-spirited style and brute strength that made her unbeatable at the London Games.

Shields even stuck her tongue out at Torlopova after ducking a few punches in the final round.

The teenager won the 12-member American team's only gold medal in London. The winningest nation in Olympic boxing history got no medals from its men's team for the first time, and flyweight Marlen Esparza won a bronze.

Shields has been on the international boxing scene for less than two years, but the Flint, Mich., native is among its fastest-rising stars. She lost early in the world championships, yet still qualified for the Olympics.

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  • Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova, right, and Claressa Shields, of the United States react following a women's semifinal middleweight 75-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Marina Volnova, Claressa Shields

    Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova, right, and United States' Claressa Shields react following their middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • United States' Claressa Shields reacts following a fight against Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova in a women's middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova, left, fights United States' Claressa Shields during their middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Marina Volnova, Claressa Shields

    United States' Claressa Shields reacts following a fight against Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova in a women's middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova, right, fights United States' Claressa Shields during their middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Ren Cancan, Marlen Esparza

    Marlen Esparza, of the United States leaves following a fight against China's Ren Cancan, in the women's semifinal flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • China's Ren Cancan, right, and Marlen Esparza, of the United States react following their women's semifinal flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • China's Ren Cancan, right, fights Marlen Esparza, of the United States during their women's semifinal flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • China's Ren Cancan, right, fights Marlen Esparza, of the United States during their women's semifinal flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Nadezda Torlopova, Li Jinzi

    China's Li Jinzi, right. and Russia's Nadezda Torlopova react following their middleweight 75-kg semifinal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Russia's Nadezhda Torlopova reacts as she leaves the ring following a fight against China's Li Jinzi in a women's semifinal middleweight 75-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)