Former Bradford Police and College Academy Boxing Club fighter Nicola Adams is counting down the days until women’s boxing makes its long-awaited Olympic debut – and is intent on marking the occasion by claiming a gold medal for Great Britain.
The Leeds flyweight – a former student at Bradford College – was at the forefront of the fight to get her sport recognised as a full Olympic discipline and admitted there were times when she feared the day would never come.
Adams won Britain’s first ever women’s World Champ-ionship medal with a silver in China in 2008 and a repeat of that feat in Barbados in 2010 means she will go into London as one of the favourites.
Adams said: “I can see why people expect a lot of me because of what I’ve achieved. Plus, I’ve since beaten the two girls who beat me for the gold medals, so everything is going well. The whole build-up to London has been so exciting and I can’t believe it’s almost here. Sometimes it’s almost too exciting and my mind starts to wander, thinking about what it’s going to be like.
“But I’ve got to get down to the business of training hard and focusing on the World Championships in Holland later this year, because that’s when I should be able to qualify for 2012.”
A medal for Adams in London would be all the more remarkable given her horrendous 2009, in which she was ruled out with a back injury so serious she had to spend months in bed.
It was around the same time that women’s boxing got the Olympic nod and the process of selecting the first elite squad of 2012 prospects had to take place while Adams was out of the picture.
Adams added: “It was so frustrating seeing something I’d worked so hard for taking place without me. There were times I questioned if I would ever get back.
“The team put their faith in me by selecting me for the squad and that kept me going through the bad times. When I came back and won my silver medal in Barbados I knew I was back at my best.
“It’s about making the most of it. There might not be another Olympics in our country in our lifetime, and I can’t imagine what an amazing and exciting experience it is going to be.”