Nicola Adams became the first British woman to win a major boxing title at the weekend, cementing herself as one to watch at London 2012.
The 28 year old claimed gold at the Women’s European Championships in Rotterdam on Saturday after beating Sarah Ourahmoune of France 15-8 in the flyweight (51kg) final.
Adams said: “It’s important to me that I’ve earned valuable ranking points for next year’s World Championships, as it’s the qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games. This is one of the big highlights of my boxing career so far and Olympic gold is my real focus now.”
This was Adams first European title and will add to the silver she won at the World Championships in Barbados last year.
It was a very successful championship for British boxers with Lisa Whiteside, and Lydnsey Holdaway of Wales both winning silvers (in non-Olympic categories) and Natasha Jonas (light-welterweight – 64kg) and Savannah Marshall (middleweight – 75kg), who both won bronze.
This was Whiteside’s debut international tournament and she came close to taking the title, but Ukrainian Natalalila Biriuk came back into it after a strong start form the GB boxer, eventually wining by a single point at 15:14.
Whiteside said: “I’m naturally disappointed not to have taken gold, but silver medal is a great achievement and has proven I can compete at the highest level.”
Katie Taylor of Ireland cemented her place as one of the world’s top boxers, as she won gold with a 10-5 victory against Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in the 60kg final. This was Taylor’s fifth successive European title and puts her as a firm favourite for the title at London 2012.
Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine