x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Olympics: Boxer Nicola Adams bosses her way to gold

Home crowd ecstatic as China's Ren Cancan is routed in flyweight at London 2012.

Nicola Adams, right, of Great Britain, dominated China's Ren Cancan yesterday. Ivan Sekretarev / AP Photo
Nicola Adams, right, of Great Britain, dominated China's Ren Cancan yesterday. Ivan Sekretarev / AP Photo

Britain's Nicola Adams became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title last night when she stormed her way past China's Ren Cancan to take the flyweight gold.

Adams easily recorded a 16-7 win in the final at the ExCel arena in south-east London over the three times world champion on a night when Ireland's Katie Taylor and the American Claressa Shields also claimed golds.

Adams was first to fight last night against Ren and she shadow boxed in each corner of the ring in delight after the fourth and final two-minute round, all of which she dominated.

"I have just wanted this all my life, all this support has really made my day. I am just so happy and overwhelmed tonight," Adams told the BBC.

"It's amazing. To have the flag lifted, I just can't wait. I'm just so happy and overwhelmed."

The noisy crowd, including British royalty in the form of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, roared in delight as Adams bossed the early exchanges to open up 4-2 lead after the first round.

Adams evaded the jabs of Ren to land clever shots and get in the face of her illustrious opponent, who had impressed at the Games with her ability to fight at a distance with her rangy jab.

Adams then landed a massive right hand halfway through the second round to dump Ren flat on her back on the canvas as she took a 9-4 lead. The intensity unsettled Ren, who tried to mix it with Adams rather than use the boxing artistry that had taken her to three world championships as the Briton easily closed out the contest.

In the second bout Taylor added Olympic gold to her four World Championship titles - but she was made to work hard for her 10-8 win over Russia's Sofya Ochigava.

She said: "It's what I've always dreamed of. I've envisaged this moment so many times before but it's better than all my wildest dreams to be sitting here as Olympic champion as well as world and European champion.

"It's a big relief to finally get the medal around my neck."

Taylor had a nervy start as the first-round finished 2-2 while the Russian took a 4-2 lead after the second with some solid blows, causing anxious looks in the Irish corner.

But an impressive display in the third saw Taylor up her work rate to win the round 4-1 and take a 7-5 lead in the gold medal bout.

Ochigava worked hard in the fourth and final round to try to close the gap and raised her arm in triumph at the final bell.

But Taylor was not to be denied, claiming the Olympic crown as the fourth round finished level at 3-3.

Then Shields restored some pride to American boxing on when she beat Russia's Nadezda Torlopova 19-12 in the women's Olympic middleweight final.

At 17 years and 145 days, Shields is the youngest boxer to win an Olympic gold medal since her compatriot John Fields won the featherweight title at the 1924 Games in Paris as a 16 year old.

None of the American men's boxers won a medal in London, their worst ever Olympics, but female fighters Shields and Marlen Esparza, who won a flyweight bronze, both earned medals in the ring for the US.

"I came here for gold. I got it, although I was still in shock when they announced the result," Shields said.

"Our team got a bronze 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. I'm the first [Olympic champion]."


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