Team GB’s boxing squad announced
A quarter of Team GB’s largest Olympic boxing squad for 32 years will be from Yorkshire as the fighters prepare to board the plane for the 2016 Rio Olympics next month.
European silver medallist Qais Ashfaq will be joined in the line-up by Keighley’s Muhammad Ali and Leeds’ 2012 Gold medallist, Nicola Adams, as they aim to conquer the international tournament.
Targeting a record medals haul in the boxing division, Ashfaq says he is ready to ‘win’ in Brazil, with gold in his sights.
“It’s all becoming ever so real now and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are just around the corner,” he said. “I’m going to be in the best shape of my life.
“I’m proud to be a part of a 12 man strong team with lads and ladies that are more like family than just team mates. Let's win these medals.”
Ashfaq will face off in the bantamweight division, whilst Ali is set to compete against the world’s top amateur flyweights.
Both fighters have enjoyed stellar careers in the senior amateur divisions and both believe gold is a very real possibility this August.
Team GB's Chef de Mission, Mark England, said: “This is the largest boxing squad we've taken to an Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1984 and demonstrates the strength this sport and our boxing programme can boast across the weight divisions.
“Team GB has a proud history in Olympic boxing and it's fantastic to see that tradition continue with this class of 2016.
“From Olympic and Commonwealth Games Champions to World and European medallists, these 12 boxers can go to Rio 2016 full of confidence and can expect to challenge with the very best on display in the ring in Brazil.”
The full list of boxers heading to Rio are: Nicola Adams – women’s flyweight; Savannah Marshall – women’s middleweight; Galal Yafai - light flyweight; Muhammad Ali – flyweight; Qais Ashfaq – bantamweight; Joe Cordina – lightweight; Pat McCormack – light welterweight; Josh Kelly – welterweight; Antony Fowler – middleweight; Joshua Buatsi – light heavyweight; Lawrence Okolie – heavyweight; Joe Joyce – super heavyweight.