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Date
12 Aug 2012
Tags
London 2012 , IOC News , Boxing

Women punch their weight on Olympic debut - London 2012 - Boxing

Women's boxing not only broke down one of the last remaining bastions of Olympic equality at the London 2012 Games, but served up a series of showcase sessions which eclipsed their male equivalents and ought to make more weights in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

When Russia's Elena Savelyeva beat Kim Hye Song 12-9 in the first women's bout in Games history, neither could possibly have envisaged the acclaim which would follow as the world's best female flyweights, lightweights and middleweights went toe to toe.

Ireland's almost invincible four-time world champion Katie Taylor emerged as her sport's first true Olympic heroine, accompanied to the ring by a roar of thousands of compatriots so loud it could likely be heard back in her home town of Bray.

Taylor figured in arguably the best bout of the tournament - men or women - when she waged war with Great Britain's Natasha Jonas, winning 26-15 in a furious bout which will live long in the memory of all who witnessed it. "I'm proud but disappointed," said Jonas afterwards. "All I could do was my best on the day and I did that. When you see bouts like that how can you argue that women's boxing isn't as good as the men? I think we've done women's boxing proud."

Jonas's belief was borne out by a series of excellent performances, with Nicola Adams skating to the flyweight gold medal over her old foe Ren Cancan of China, and 17-year-old Claressa Shields claiming America's only gold in the Middleweight division.

Kazakhstan's Serik Sapiyev was the stand-out fighter of the men's tournament, picking up the prestigious Val Barker Trophy for best boxer of the Games after finishing his excellent run with a 17-9 win over Great Britain's Fred Evans.

Vasyl Lomachenko was the other obvious star of the men's competition, skating away to his second consecutive Olympic gold medal and his first in the Lightweight division, a cut above his rivals throughout his excellent competition.

Hosts Great Britain topped the medals table with three golds, one silver and one bronze, their best performance in an Olympic Boxing ring since 1908.

Londoner Anthony Joshua rounded off a magnificent competition by winning a thrilling countback verdict over Roberto Cammarelle after the pair had been locked together at 18-18 at the end of three fast and furious rounds. Earlier, Britain's Luke Campbell had boxed majestically to see off his old rival and friend John Joe Nevin of Ireland.

The Irish had a good tournament, with four - Nevin, Taylor, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes - taking home medals.

Cuba returned to the top of the podium after missing out in Beijing, 18-year-old flyweight Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana particularly impressing, and light-welterweight Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo also taking gold.

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