Briton Adams claims women's maiden boxing gold as Taylor and Shields also write history
Thursday, 09 August 2012
August 9 - British flyweight Nicola Adams has become the first-ever female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal with Ireland's lightweight star Katie Taylor and American middleweight Claressa Shields also being crowed champions on an historic day here.
Women's boxing is making its official debut on the Olympic programme and a sell-out 6,000 crowd was packed into the boxing venue to watch a special moment as Adams (pictured top) was first up in the ring against Chinese great Ren Cancan.
The 29-year-old from Leeds was beaten by Cancan in the finals of both the 2010 and 2012 World Championships and the Chinese star was the narrow favourite to win again heading into the Olympic gold medal bout.
However, with the deafening support of the home crowd, Adams began superbly and opened up a 4-2 lead after the first round courtesy of some incisive jabs and clubbing right hands.
The win looked beyond doubt as she knocked her great rival down in the second and she kept up the fast tempo for the next two rounds in the best performance of her career so far.
Upon hearing the final bell, Adams raised her hands in celebration even before she was announced the winner, but that was just a formality as she was declared the victor by a huge 16-7 margin.
"I still can't believe I've done it," said a stunned Adams after the win.
"It's literally like a dream come true.
"During the fight all I could think about was getting points on the board.
"I couldn't control my nerves.
"I've been dreaming about it since I was five years old.
"I'm so proud to have won a medal for Great Britain.
"I've been working really hard for it for the past six weeks, and now I'm going to go and show off my medal to all my family and friends when I get back to Leeds."
American Marlen Esparza and Indian Mary Kom, the beaten semi-finalists, took the bronze medals.
Following Adams' memorable moment in the limelight when Taylor took to the ring the arena erupted.
The 26-year-old from Bray, a four-times world champion and arguably the best female amateur boxer in history, had always been the overwhelming favourite for victory long before the event began and that remained the case as she stepped into the ring with Russia's Sofya Ochigava.
Taylor appeared to receive even more support than Adams with thousands of Irish fans rocking the venue to its foundations.
Despite appearing nervous throughout she produced flashes of brilliance to claim a narrow 10-8 win over her gutsy opponent and take her nation's first medal of the Games.
"This is like a dream come true," said Taylor, the first Irish boxer to win an Olympic gold medal 20 years to the day since Michael Carruth in the men's welterweight division at Barcelona in 1992.
"I just became an Olympic champion.
"It's been the dream of my life.
"I'm very happy.
"The support was incredible and I was a bit shaky during the fight because she [Ochigava] is a great boxer.
"Now I'm looking forward to a massive celebration at home."
Beaten semi-finalists Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan and Adriana Araujo of Brazil took the lightweight bronze medals.
Meanwhile, teenage sensation Shields restored some pride for America when she defeated Russia's Nadezda Torlopova 19-12 to ensure her country left the Olympics with one boxing gold medal.
Shields used her youth and speed as she threw more punches than her 33-year-old opponent during the four-round contest to claim victory and compensate for a disappointing campaign from the American male boxers, all of whom missed out on a medal.
"I came here for gold and I got it, although I was still in shock when they announced the result," said Shields.
"Our team got a bronze [through female lightweight Esparza] and I got a gold.
"Usually it kicks in the next day but I'm already excited.
"I want to thank my team who helped me to stay emotionally, physically and spiritually balanced."
The win makes Shields, who is 17 years and 145 days old, the youngest Olympic boxing gold medallist in 88 years since American John Fields who won the men's featherweight crown at the Paris 1924 Olympics aged 16 years and 162 days.
Li Jinzi of China and Marina Volnova of Kazakhstan were awarded bronze medals after reaching the semi-finals.
August 2012: Taylor storms towards gold as history is made again in women's boxing competition
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