The 24-year-old, who bagged her first Grand Slam gold medal in Israel earlier this year, overcame Macedonia’s Arbresha Rexhepi and Morocco’s Soumiya Iraoui to reach the quarter-final, where she was beaten by Japan’s Uta Abe.
However, she was presented with another route to a podium place and duly took it, downing Belgium’s Charline van Snick and then Kocher in their bronze medal match, both with Ippon finishes.
It has not been the most auspicious start to a Games for Team GB, with Yorkshire swimmer Max Litchfield going close as he agonisingly finished fourth in the men’s 400 metres individual medley final.
Jade Jones was widely expected to get Britain up and running but the Welsh taekwondo star, the two-time defending champion in her -57kg category, fell to a shock loss in her opening bout with Refugee Team athlete Kimia Alizadeh.
While Giles may not have been tipped by many to get her nation’s first gong, that was not through a lack of skill on her part. Ranked 10th in the world, she showed remarkable composure on her Olympic bow.