Lauren Price wins gold in women's middleweight boxing to earn Team GB's final medal at Olympics | Daily Mail Online

Lauren Price wins gold in women’s middleweight boxing to earn Team GB’s final medal at Olympics | Daily Mail Online

No messing around, no missing either. Lauren Price brought a golden curtain down on Team GB’s trip to the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday with a meticulous and marvellous stroll through the biggest fight of her astonishing life.

Or perhaps that should be limited to the conquests of her sporting career, for this is a woman who was given up at three days old by her parents, and has since risen as an adult of spectacular and diverse talents.

That she has hit the crescendo of a gold medal is no enormous surprise, because she was the top seed for the middleweights and the most hyped member of Rob McCracken’s programme.

Lauren Price (right) produced a dominant performance to beat Chinese fighter Li Qian

The Welsh fighter’s emphatic display saw her win the final Team GB gold of the Tokyo Games

But the manner of it? The sheer scale of the victory? That was special, as she was in with a former world champion, Li Qian of China, and this was a procession. Punch perfect, almost. If she received a meaningful punch across nine minutes, then it would require half a dozen slow-motion replays from two dozen angles to spot it.

By the time it was all over, and before the final scores were confirmed, the only mystery was how one of the five judges had scored the second round to Li. The rest gave every session to Price, for a 5-0 win, or 14-1 if you want to break it down further. It was near enough a total domination from a polymath whose CV now covers international football for Wales, world titles at kickboxing, a stint driving a cab and now an Olympic gold medal.

Afterwards, Price looked to the rafters of a grand building ordinarily used for sumo wrestling, and in that moment she thanked her late grandfather, Derek, who, along with her grandmother, Linda, took her in as a baby in Caerphilly and put her on this path. He passed away last year but Linda remains a daily inspiration.

‘When the decision came I had a little look up to him,’ the 27-year-old said, with gold hanging from her neck.

‘He was a massive part of my life and if it wasn’t for him and my nan I wouldn’t have achieved anything. They always supported me 100 per cent and I always said to my nan I was going to bring a gold back to her.

Price (right) becomes just the second British woman ever to top the Olympic boxing podium

‘All I was thinking about last night is that she lives next to a post office so now I have a gold post box next to the house. Every time she opens the blinds she will see that and have the memory of this.

‘I spoke to her on Facetime last night and every time I wake up here I have a message from her. This morning, before the final, it was about me dreaming of this as a little girl. She always says to me if I reach for the stars, if I fall short I might land on the moon, and that is how far I have come.’

Price has never been one for outward shows of emotion, but that last part almost pushed her over an edge. As she was talking, her team-mate, the bronze medallist Frazer Clarke, stopped by and made the point that Price had fought her final like a Cuban. In amateur boxing there is no finer praise, and it was not misplaced.

Her movement against Li was flawless. Li had not dropped a round on her way to the final but here she was totally outclassed against the reigning world champion, whose feet kept her out of range and then, in a flash, would bring her close enough to counter. That was the pattern throughout – step out of trouble, step in and cause mayhem with clusters of two or three shots, step out again.

It was one-way traffic in the bout and Price described Olympic gold as a ‘dream come true’

It wasn’t an all-action scrap, but across three rounds it was a textbook definition of a boxing masterclass.

‘It has been my dream since I was eight and watching Kelly Holmes win gold,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know what sport it was going to be but the dream was to get to the Olympics and gold is icing on the cake.’

Likewise for McCracken’s team. They brought 11 fighters to these Games and left with two golds, two silvers and two bronzes. They talk a lot of pound-for-pound value in boxing and that return really isn’t too shabby at all.

Lauren Price wins gold in women’s middleweight boxing to earn Team GB’s final medal at Olympics

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