2012 DREAMS

Amanda Coulson pictured with one of her sponsors Brian Horton of the Staincliffe Hotel
Amanda Coulson pictured with one of her sponsors Brian Horton of the Staincliffe Hotel

AMANDA Coulson’s Olympic dreams live on despite having been dealt a major set-back.

The Hartlepool boxer, battling for a place in Great Britain’s team for London 2012, had hoped to press her claim at an international tournament in Turkey.

But this month’s Prime Ministry Cup has been postponed with prospects of it going ahead rated as slim.

After winning her fourth ABA title in June, Coulson knew she needed success on the international stage, especially as her rival for the lightweight spot in the side, Natasha Jonas, struck gold at the EU championships.

Jonas, a one-point winner over Coulson at the GB championship final last November, has, in Tour de France parlance, got ownership of the yellow jersey.

But Coulson is refusing to give up hope and says everything is still to play for.

The 28-year-old insists two training camps in Sweden and China will be an opportunity to display her credentials.

“I’ve not heard anything definite about the Prime Ministry Cup,” she said.

“The whisper is it has been postponed because Turkey staged the men’s European championships and used all the money on that.

“But my gut feeling is that it’s cancelled and that’s not good for me.

“I do have two training camps coming up which will be important.

“We’re doing five days in Stockholm with some gym bouts at the end of the week.

“At the end of the month we’ve got a fortnight in China which will be good.

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“China has a massive squad so we are guaranteed some great sparring.

“All six of our squad are going to China.

“We’ve got sparring followed by four bouts at the end of it.

“We’ve got to make our weight four days on the trot and perform every day, so in that sense it replicates a tournament.

“I’m happy with the situation. It gives me a chance to show what I can do.

“(GB Performance Director) Rob McCracken says the boxers performing the best will be the ones to get selected. I’ve got to give myself the best chance that it will be me.”

With Britain’s two silver medallists at last year’s world championships, Nicola Adams and Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall, untouchable at flyweight and middle, the battle for the lightweight position in the GB team is very exciting.

It is almost certainly Coulson v Jonas, although the Hartlepool Catholic Club star is refusing to rule out Chantelle Murray.

“We’ve all upped our games, the whole team,” said Coulson.

“It’s been so close between me and Natasha. Even in sparring it is so competitive and that’s helping to fetch us both onto an extra level.

“Chantelle is in the mix too. She’s inexperienced in comparison to me and Natasha but she’s performed well wherever she has gone.”

The first aim for Coulson is to impress ahead of selection for the European championships in Rotterdam in October.

“There’s a lot riding on our training camps in Sweden and China,” she said.

“I’m really up for this.”

Coulson, who gave up her job as a 999 call centre operator to go full-time training with GB, has been boosted by a new sponsorship deal, from the Staincliffe Hotel.

“I can’t thank Brian Morton and the Staincliffe enough,” said the ABA champ.

“I’m lucky to have some brilliant sponsors. I couldn’t do all this without The Sofa Bed Shop, Ultimate Security, Wilton Engineering, Wynyard Park and Studio Products.

“Their support has been invaluable.”