Nicola Adams secures place at 2016 Rio Olympics

2012 gold medallist looking to double up

Mark Staniforth
Friday 15 April 2016 18:09
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Nicola Adams
Nicola Adams

Nicola Adams set her sights on becoming a double Olympic champion after booking her place in Rio this summer with victory at European qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey, on Friday.

The 33-year-old outpointed experienced Norwegian Marielle Hansen to guarantee she will defend the women's flyweight title she claimed at London 2012.

Victory for Adams in Brazil would make her only the second British boxer to retain their Olympic title after London middleweight Harry Mallin who won gold in 1920 and 1924.

Adams said: "It feels really good to know that I will be defending my title in Rio - it is no longer the Road to Rio, I am going to Rio

"I've qualified and I am ready to defend my title and hopefully become a double Olympic champion.

"Through this tournament I feel like I've boxed really well and I've gone from strength to strength. I have not taken anyone lightly and have treated every competition as a final.

"Every time I get in the ring I have to give 110% because my opponents have nothing to lose and everything to gain so I have to make sure I go in there with my A-game and come away with the victory."

But there was a shock for Ireland's reigning Olympic lightweight champion Katie Taylor who suffered her first loss in almost five years to accomplished Azerbaijani Yana Alekseevna.

Taylor will get one more chance to reach the Olympics at the World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan next month.

Galal Yafai and Qais Ashfaq joined Adams in the Great Britain team for Rio after a pair of hard-fought victories at light-flyweight and bantamweight respectively.

Yafai, 23, will follow his older brother Kal Yafai, who went to the 2008 Beijing Games, as he set a quick pace on his way to outpointing Spain's Samuel Carmona Heredia.

It capped a remarkable rise for the younger Yafai, who only started boxing seriously at the age of 18 and until December last year was still working part time in a local Land Rover factory.

Next Leeds bantamweight Ashfaq survived a bloody last round to outpoint Ukrainian fourth seed Mykola Butsenko, who was fortunate not to be disqualified for a series of indiscretions.

Liverpool middleweight Antony Fowler must try to take a second qualifying chance this weekend after losing his semi-final to Mbilli Assomo of France.

PA

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