Boxing: Glove story with happy ending as Nicola Adams grabs gold for Team GB

Leeds' finest produces the fight of her life to down Ren and make history

The ExCeL

Nicola Adams is in the history books as the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal but the statistics tell only part of the story.

Adams has been the first lady of British boxing for just under a decade, an uncomfortable existence on the sidelines in many ways, and that all ended just before 5pm yesterday when her hand was raised at the end of the flyweight final.

She had to overcome China's Ren Cancan, a woman who had beaten her in the last two World Championship finals, but yesterday – somewhere under a din that rattled the chairs at the ExCeL – Adams fought the finest fight of her life.

Adams won the first round 4-2, increased the lead to 9-4 in the second and came close to ending the fight in the third when she sent Ren crashing down heavily on her back from a left hook. It took the crowd a second to realise what they had seen and then all 10,000 stood.

Adams went into the fourth leading 14-5 and at the bell, after a short wait, the gold medal was confirmed with the historic score of 16-7.

"It was the greatest moment of my life and I loved every second of it," Adams said. "I know her so well and she knows me so well but I just refused to get beat in that ring in front of those fans, the noisiest fans that I have ever known."

There was never a moment during the fight when it looked even remotely likely that Ren would continue her dominance of Adams, and the sickening look on her face when she was dropped suggests she will never trouble the woman from Leeds again.

It was women's boxing, which has made a stunning debut at these Games, at its best.

"I didn't want to leave anything to chance and I knew that I had to make it clear and put it beyond any doubt. I had to put on the best performance of my life and I did," said Adams, who has three silver medals from losing in the World Championship final.

Adams has spent the last five years struggling to make a living that did not interfere with her boxing ambitions and that is never easy.

She worked on building sites and as an extra on television shows – including Coronation Street – between training sessions at whatever gyms she could find near to where she was working.

"I have been making sacrifices for so long and so many people have helped me get to this medal," continued Adams, who officially fights for the Haringey Police and Community club in north London. "This win is for all the girls out there dreaming of winning an Olympic medal. It can be done, I have proved it."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Million dollar baby: Adams factfile

Born 26 October 1982, Leeds. Now trains in Tottenham, London.

1995 Started boxing aged 12, and won her first bout aged 13.

2001 Was the first woman boxer to represent England, fighting an Irish boxer.

2007 Took bantamweight silver at the European Championships in Denmark.

2008 Won silver in the World Championships in China.

2010 Returned after months out with a back injury to win silver again in World Championships.

2011 Yet another silver in the Worlds; and qualifies for London.

* She has also worked as a extra, and appeared in the soaps Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
Sport
football
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game