Lauren Price, the woman raised by her grandparents in the Welsh valleys, the woman who told Prince William that no-one ever messed with her when she used to drive a taxi, the woman who won 52 international caps as a centre-back for Wales, is the new Olympic women’s middleweight champion. And no-one can be surprised.
Strong, athletic and technically superb, she beat Li Qian of China by unanimous decision. So emphatic was Price’s win, it is hard to recall if Qian actually laid a glove on her.
“If she had a Cuban kit on people would be raving about her,” said Frazer Clarke, the Team GB boxing captain after her win. “She’s just won an Olympic final and she probably took two shots. She danced around, looked fantastic.”
And he wasn’t wrong. By winning what was GB’s second gold and sixth boxing medal – their best haul in the Olympic ring since 1920 – Price was on another level to her opponent. No wonder she looked so calm on the podium. No need for histrionics when you know you are the best.
“I’m quite a laid-back person,” she explained after her fight. “I keep myself to myself. I’ll always keep my feet on the ground and stay that way no matter what. Even though I look quite chilled I’m really buzzing and happy inside.”
So she should be. In victory she fulfilled an ambition she has nurtured since she was eight. And it has been a long road for the 27-year-old.
Encouraged into kickboxing in her youth by her grandfather Derek (who she lost to dementia last year) and always supported by her grandmother Linda, she took up football with sufficient application to play for Wales 52 times.
An uncompromising centre-back, she reckoned her fighting background gave her greater resilience: once she split her forehead open after an aerial duel and, while the other player lay on the turf weeping, she got up to carry on, unaware she had blood streaming down her face.
Day 16 of the Tokyo Olympic Games brings further chances for Team GB to add to their medal tally.
Britain go into the final day of the Games with a haul of 63 medals – just two short of their 65 haul at London 2012.
Boxing: Lauren Price will be gunning for gold in her women’s middleweight final against China’s Li Qian at the Kokugikan Arena. Galal Yafai struck gold on Saturday in the men’s flyweight final and Price has the chance to deliver a second gold for the British team.
Price’s medal will be Britain’s sixth of the Games following Yafai’s gold, silvers for Pat McCormack (welterweight) and Ben Whittaker (light-heavyweight) and bronze medals for Frazer Clarke (super-heavyweight) and Karriss Artingstall (featherweight).
Now she will be aiming for what would be her sixth Olympic gold medal, the five she already has making her Britain’s most successful female Olympian.
There is a further British medal chance in the velodrome on Sunday, with Kenny’s husband Jason and Jack Carlin competing in the men’s keirin.
As ever, we’ll be here for all of the updates over day 16, taking you through the men’s marathon, which started about 30 minutes ago, as well as the closing ceremony.
In the men’s marathon, it’s defending champion, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge leading the way at about the quarter mark. Can he bring home a second Olympic gold?
This content was originally published here.
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