Great Britain’s Lauren Price secured at least a bronze in the women’s middleweight boxing and Karriss Artingstall had to settle for a medal of the same colour after her defeat in the semi-finals of the featherweight competition.
“This has been my dream since I was an eight-year-old. Just to be an Olympian, let alone win a medal,” Price said. “It is amazing to have medalled, but I always want more,
“I always want to succeed no matter what tournament it is. I believe I am in the best shape of my career.”
The former Wales football international will become the first female boxer from Wales to win an Olympic medal. “It’s a bit mad, isn’t it?” she said.
“I’m making history all the time, it’s a bit crazy really. But I am just loving the journey.”
Price is the world champion and the world No 1 and will take on her old rival, the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn, in the semi-final who won a unanimous decision over Panama’s Atheyna Bylon in her quarter-final. In becoming world champion in 2019, Price lost a controversial split decision to Fontijn before a successful appeal gave her the title.
“The rivalry between me and Nouchka is one of them really,” Price said. “But we are all top-class girls. It’s who is better on the day, but I don’t fear anyone.”
Fontijn is also relishing the contest. “Our last four or five matches were all very close so it’s going to be an exciting match and we need to prepare very well for that,” she said. “I know a lot of people think she’s the only one on my mind but the only thing on my mind are medals and she’s just one other opponent.”
Artingstall was unable to turn her bronze into gold or silver in her semi-final against Japan’s Sena Irie at the Kokugikan Arena. She had won a tight call against Australia’s Skye Nicolson in the last eight but was on the other end of the judges’ decision against the home fighter nicknamed “Irie-wani” – Japanese for saltwater crocodile.
The bronze for Artingstall is the first of what could be a glut of medals for Team GB. They are guaranteed four more, with Price, Pat McCormack and Ben Whittaker all through to their respective semi-finals and therefore certain of at least a bronze medal.
Galal Yafai will hope to join that list in the men’s flyweight competition after winning a 3-2 decision over Zimbabwe’s Patrick Chinyemba to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.
“I anticipated he was going to be tricky after watching him but I didn’t think he was going to be as tricky as that,” Yafai said. “But I’m glad just to get him out of the way, he was a nightmare to fight.
There was disappointment, though for Luke McCormack, the brother of Pat, who went out at the same stage of the lightweight competition after defeat against Cuba’s two-times world champion Andy Cruz.