OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Boxing: Reid ensures a medal

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JUST WHEN it seemed that British fighters would have nothing to show for their efforts in the Olympic boxing, Robin Reid outpointed Ole Klemetsen, an awkward Norwegian who earns his living as a bouncer, to be guaranteed at least a bronze in the light-middleweight division.

Not a great deal of hope had been held out for Reid against a much taller opponent who defeated him last year in the European Championships, but the 21-year- old bookmakers clerk from Runcorn brought his considerable international experience to bear on a difficult contest.

The Norwegian has been one of the best supported boxers in Barcelona, and his compatriots turned out in force again for a quarter-final at the Pavello Club Baladona. This time they were disappointed, Reid going into the final round with an 11-7 advantage that became 20-10 at the bell.

It was a good effort from the Lancastrian who took full advantage of the Norwegian's limited technique, and now fights Orhan Dellibas, of the Netherlands, in the semi-finals. He said: 'I was the last of us out there. It was all down to me, and I was determined to fight my heart out. I've got a bronze, now let's see if I can improve on the colour.'

Reid's victory compensated for the defeat of Peter Richardson, 22, a transport driver from Ormesby Bank, near Middlesbrough, who had boxed well enough in earlier bouts to suggest he might be Great Britain's first representative in an Olympic final since Chris Finnegan won a gold medal in Mexico 24 years ago.

In the light-welterweight quarter-final, he had to overcome Leonard Doroftei, a squat, tough Romanian who made up for disadvantages in height and weight by pressuring Richardson throughout a hard contest. The Romanian's rugged style left Richardson without room to land clean, solid blows and he quickly fell behind on the controversial computer scoring system that required three of five judges from Greece, Ireland, India, the United States and Nigeria to register a point simultaneously.

Hard as Richardson tried to open up angles for the counterattacks that had previously impressed observers at ringside, he is naturally an aggressive fighter, and was too eager to join in toe-to- toe exchanges. This was not the way to box Doroftei and although Richardson deserved better than a ludicrous score of 20-7 in the Romanian's favour, there was never a time when he looked to be taking charge of the bout.

Clearly upset by the defeat, Richardson went directly to his dressing-room without passing comment. 'The boy is disappointed, and he had one or two problems,' Eric Irwin, the British coach, said.