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By Ben Pearce
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Haringey Police boxer Nicola Adams believes that she has given her Olympic dream a timely boost by “turning silver into gold” and becoming the European Union flyweight champion.
The 28-year-old won the gold medal in Katowice, Poland, after beating the double world champion Karolina Michalczuk on her home turf last Saturday.
And, having previously won three silver medals at the European Championships and World Championships, Adams admits that she has struck gold at the perfect time.
“The last few days have been amazing. I’ve been waking up every morning and thinking ‘I’m the EU champion’,” she told the Journal.
“Last year I was getting silvers and this is the perfect time to get the gold. That’s what this year is about – turning silver into gold.
“I’ve been training full-time since January in Sheffield and I feel I’ve improved in so many ways since then. I’m not counting down the days until the Olympics yet, but I’m counting down the tournaments.
“I’ve got the ‘Prime Ministry’ competition in Turkey coming up, and then it’s the European Championships in Holland in October – that’s the main one, obviously.”
Adams, who originally comes from Leeds, moved down to London to join Haringey Police ABC and train on Tottenham High Road, before getting GB funding and starting full-time preparations for the Olympics at the British Institute for Sport in Sheffield.
“Haringey have been brilliant, they’ve supported me all the way,” she said. “Now I’m up in Sheffield I’m not there as much as I used to be but I’m still registered there, I’m still a member and I’ll be down there this weekend.
“It’s the London Box Cup at Alexandra Palace, which Haringey organise, and I’m going to be there to cheer everyone on.
“I was in that competition, fighting for Haringey, a couple of years ago in 2009. It’s a fantastic thing to be involved in because you get international experience fighting against people from Finland, Germany and all over the world.”
Haringey coach Gerry Willmott MBE, who established the club in 1999, has high hopes for Adams as the clock ticks down towards London 2012.
“I think she’s our best Olympic prospect out of all of Great Britain’s boxers, male and female,” he said. “She’s guaranteed a place at the Games and, as long as she stays fit, she’s got a great chance.
“She moved down to London to join us because we’re well-known for having a strong female interest.
“She’s proved herself time and again and, really, I think there’s only one other girl who can challenge her at the Olympics – that’s the Chinese fighter Cancan Ren, who beat her at the World Championships last year.”
Visit http://bit.ly/l8NF3K for more information on the London Box Cup, which starts on Thursday.