Gavin wishes team-mates well

Frankie Gavin has urged Great Britain's boxing squad to make up for his crushing personal disappointment at missing out on the Olympics by bringing a clutch of medals back from Beijing.

No sooner had Gavin touched down in England than he was on the telephone to his best friend, light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries, to tell his team-mates to do themselves proud.



It was a touching gesture from Gavin and a great boost for the British team who could use all the inspiration they can get after being handed a nightmare competition draw today.



Head coach Terry Edwards said: "Frankie was on the phone to wish all the boys the best of luck and to tell them despite his disappointment he will be cheering them on on the television.



"It's going to be painful for Frankie but he's been a part of the team for a long time now and he's still a part of it. I wouldn't expect anything less of Frankie to support the team even though he's on the other side of the world.



"Frankie will undoubtedly be a motivating factor. I have told the lads they have got to concentrate on their own Games now, but they told me to a man they are now even more determined to do it for Frankie."



If Edwards thought things could hardly get much worse after Gavin's late pull-out after failing to make the weight for the lightweight division he was mistaken, with the draw at the Beijing Asia hotel throwing up a series of tough draws for the remaining team members.



Super-heavyweight and team captain David Price drew the shortest straw as he must open against Russia's European champion and world number one Islam Timurziev.



Middleweight James Degale will begin the British campaign on Saturday afternoon against Egypt's Mohamed Hikal, in the knowledge he will probably have to overcome Russian world champion Matvei Korobov in order to medal.



Edwards said: "It's an unseeded draw and it has not been kind to us. All the team have proved they can beat the best in the world and they will have to do it again.



Hikal is a former African champion and two-time Olympian but ought not to unduly detain Degale, who is hot favourite to get his team off to a winning start before the real tests commence.



North-east pair Bradley Saunders and Jeffries received the kindest draws. Light-welterweight Saunders opens against Ghana's Samuel Kotey with his biggest obstacle to a medal likely to be Bulgarian European champion Boris Georgiev in the last eight.



Jeffries opens with a bye and if he beats Colombia's Pan-American champion Eleider Alvarez and in all likelihood classy Hungarian Istvan Szello - whom he has already beaten - he will guarantee at least bronze.



Flyweight Khalid Yafai begins in the second round against Cuban Andry Laffita, while welterweight Billy Joe Saunders starts against Turkey's world number three Adem Kilicci - with another Cuban awaiting in round two.



Meanwhile young bantamweight Joe Murray must open against China's fancied Yu Gu - whom he beat in November's World Championships - in front of what is expected to be a fervent 13,000-strong home crowd.



Irish light-flyweight Paddy Barnes starts with a bye and can certainly be confident of reaching the medal stages, while fancied middleweight Darren Sutherland takes on Nabil Kassel of Algeria.



Suggested Topics
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
i100
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea