At least Frankie Gavin, the not quite light enough British lightweight, was still standing when his Olympic medal hopes were counted out before he had a chance to step into the ring. Poor Gary Russell Jr, one of the big hopes in the US boxing squad, knocked himself unconscious in his ill-fated attempt to make the 119lb weight in the bantamweight division.
Russell, a two-time national champion, was found spark out and in an "extremely dehydrated" state at 2.30am local time yesterday by his room-mate, light-flyweight Luis Yanez. Paramedics fed him fluids and stabilised his blood pressure but he remained under medical attention yesterday, missing the mandatory weigh-in.
John Campbell, head coach of the US team, said: "We became alarmed a couple of days ago when we saw he wasn't sweating like he should. What we believe is he did not increase his fluid intake after we told him to. These kids, when they're trying to lose weight, their idea is to take short cuts."
Campbell also believes that the air conditioning at the university gymnasium in which his squad have been training has been too excessive to allow his boxers to sweat.
The surviving members in the British squad were not having much trouble getting worked into a lathered state yesterday. After Gavin's failure to beat the scales, yesterday's competition draw came as a follow-up jab to the solar plexus. The heaviest blow has been taken by super-heavyweight David Price, who must open his account against Russia's European champion and world No 1, Islam Timurziev.Reuse content