Gavin out of Olympics
Thursday 07 August 2008
Devastated Frankie Gavin was flying home to Birmingham today with his Olympic dream in tatters after being forced to withdraw from the Games due to his failure to hit the lightweight limit.
Gavin, who had remained at the British team's holding camp in Beijing in a vain bid to shake off the extra pounds, finally admitted defeat in his long battle and will not now attend Friday morning's boxing weigh-in in Beijing.
The news has come as a hammer-blow for the British boxing team who had multiple medal hopes, none more so than Gavin, who would have started as gold medal favourite after winning the world title in Chicago last year.
Great Britain head coach Terry Edwards said: "Frankie has been working his whole boxing career towards the Olympic Games and he is obviously completely devastated.
"Whilst the support staff down in Macau and I, have done everything we could, regrettably it is clear that Frankie will not make his weight before tomorrow morning's weigh-in."
Questions are now bound to be asked about Gavin's weight-making tactics. He fought at light-welterweight throughout last year with the exception of Chicago, and frequently professed his difficulties in making the weight.
However, Gavin boiled down with great success in Chicago and it had been hoped he would do the same in Beijing, where the alternate day boxing schedule would have allowed him more time to recover in time.
Ironically, in Gavin's absence, his light-welterweight team-mate Bradley Saunders now assumes the role of Britain's best boxing medal prospect, with all seven of the remaining team members holding a realistic chance.
Gavin's shattered Hall Green amateur coach Tommy Chaney refused to elaborate on what he believed were the 22-year-old's reasons for failing to make the weight, but confirmed: "Frankie feels like his world has fallen in.
"It's important now that the attention is shifted to the remaining seven boxers who all have a fantastic chance to medal. That's what Frankie wants and he'll be watching avidly on the television despite how upset he is right now."
Gavin now faces an agonising decision over whether to remain amateur with an eye on the London Olympics in four years' time or to cash in on one of any number of professional offers heading his way.
But he will certainly not be rushing into any decision as the fall-out from his Olympic failure continues to be picked over, and attention shifts towards ensuring the success of his team-mates.
Edwards added: "It is the nature of our sport that we try and get our boxers to the top of their weight and it has been well documented that Frankie has struggled with this over recent months.
"My advice to him has been to take stock over the next couple of weeks and I will talk to him about his future as soon as I get home.
"I would ask that his privacy is respected during this difficult period and he is given the time to come to terms with the situation."
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