Boxing: Nicola Adams becomes first woman to win Olympic boxing gold

 

Ending an inspired performance with an Ali Shuffle as a mark of respect for the man who inspired her to take up boxing when she was 12 years old, Nicola Adams sealed her place in history as the first ever women's Olympic boxing champion.

Adams' years battling funding crises and crippling injury were blown away in a simply magnificent 16-7 win over China's world number one Ren Cancan, an opponent who had beaten her in their previous two World Championship finals.

With 10 seconds to go on the clock, Adams performed her now customary Shuffle by the ropes, a final mark of victory which brought the roaring ExCeL crowd to its feet to acclaim a seminal British and Olympic moment.

Afterwards, beaming Adams insisted the crowning moment of her career would not change her, and that she was looking forward to nothing more than a meal with her family, and going home to greet her pet doberman puppy, Dexter.

Adams said: "I just like being the normal Nicky Adams, walking my dog and doing the normal day to day things. I think it's probably going to change now but I'm going to try to stick to what I normally do as much as possible.

"It will only be once everything settles down that I'll think, 'wow, I've actually done it.' It's like a fairytale ending for me. I've dreamed about this moment since I was 12 years old watching Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

"I saw them get their gold medals and I always dreamed I'd be able to do the same thing one day. To think I've finally done it I'm over the moon. I was really trying to fight back tears. I've been working all my life for this day."

In a raucous home crowd atmosphere, Adams produced a performance she rated as the finest of her career, simply dismantling the accomplished Ren to the extent that the contest was as good as over by the half-way stage.

Two points up after a dominant first, Adams poured home the punches in round two, a flicking left and overhand right sending Ren heavily to the canvas, and a succession of quick counters completely befuddling a foe who was being made to look like a novice.

It was a staggering round by Adams, who took a 9-4 lead into the second half of the contest, but will have known to stay on her guard against an opponent who has dominated at the top of her division for four years.

But by the end of the third, Adams had amassed an enormous 14-5 lead and her gold was as good as in the bag. At the verdict, she repeatedly punched the air and saluted all four sides of an arena which stood as one to acclaim her piece of history.

"I spent three months in bed last year not being able to move because of a back injury, and when I first came back to training I went from being able to do 200 sit-ups a day to not being able to do a single one.

"I thought to myself, 'how am I going to get back to being a fighter?' But I stuck to my game-plan and listened to all the doctors and the physios and did what I was told and look at me now - I'm Olympic champion."

PA

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

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most