HEARTBROKEN boxer Savannah Marshall said “I’m sorry” after her Olympic dream was dashed with a devastating exit from the London Games.
The 21-year-old had her dream of medal glory cruelly cut short after a controversial quarter-final defeat to Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova in London yesterday.
Her family were left in tears in the capital and after the defeat, Savannah said: “I have got no excuses and all I can do is say sorry to the coaches, the support staff and everyone who has done everything they can to get me here.”
But today, her proud nana Mary Marshall, 77, told the Mail: “It was a huge shock and obviously Savannah is really upset.
“But she is only young, she’s a brilliant fighter and a lovely young girl with an incredible future.”
Mary, a mum of six, grandmother of 13 and great grandmother of six, who lives in Owton Manor, added: “My phone hasn’t stopped once since yesterday.
“That just sums up the support Savannah has had, it has been fantastic.
“She has done the town proud and she will come home a hero.”
Savannah’s shock defeat provoked angry boos from the ExCel Arena crowd who felt she had done more than enough to qualify for the semi-finals and guarantee herself at least a bronze medal.
Hundreds of messages of support and goodwill were posted on Twitter and Facebook by proud Hartlepool residents who had tuned in to watch Savannah’s Olympic bow.
Her coach at Headland ABC, Tim Coulter, added: “Savannah has nothing to be sorry about.
“She’s a brilliant boxer and a lovely unassuming person.
“Some people said she was robbed and I’d have to agree.
“I think may be the occasion got to her and the pressure she was under as the favourite and reigning world champion.
“But she has nothing to apologise for and I know she will relish coming back and winning more titles.”
Her nana Mary added: “We all have disappointments.
“That’s part of life and you have to take the rough with the smooth, Savannah has done everyone proud.”