Irish delight as Taylor wins gold - London 2012 - Boxing
Ireland's Katie Taylor added Olympic Games gold to her four World Championships titles today - but she was made to work hard for her 10-8 win over Russia's Sofya Ochigava amid an extraordinary atmosphere at ExCeL.
With the decibel levels surely hitting new heights, Taylor set about business in her usual way in the Light Weight final, pushing forward and flinging right hooks at Ochigava, a tough, two-time former world silver medallist.
But it soon became clear Taylor was in for a test as the Russian matched Taylor's strength inside and clinched up close to prevent her opponent from getting off her usual array of big shots.
Taylor's frustrations continued in the second, which Ochigava edged to take a 4-3 lead at the halfway stage, but she stayed patient and scored with a right to the Russian's chin and a superb countering left which turned the fight her way.
Heading into the last with a 7-5 lead, Taylor still had a fight on her hands as the Russian muscled forward, landing two clean rights, making the wait for the verdict a surprisingly anxious one for Taylor and her fans.
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.”
Taylor, crowned Ireland's first Olympic Games Boxing champion since Michael Carruth at Barcelona 1992, said: 'It was a huge relief. I didn't know which the way decision had gone and I thought it might go to countback because there was a big delay.
'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.'
USA 17-year-old Claressa Shields rounded off a magnificent women's competition by beating Nadezda Torlopova of Russia 19-14 to claim Middle Weight gold.
Shields dominated the bigger, former world champion to claim a popular win and said she had been spurred on to succeed after watching the US men's team fail to secure a Boxing medal for the first time in Games history.
Shields said: 'It's unbelievable - I was surprised I didn't cry. I feel the USA needs it. I'm glad someone won that gold medal, but I represent myself and them in the ring.'