Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall’s Rio hopes in balance after losing in European Olympic qualifier

Savannah Marshall: First round exit
Savannah Marshall: First round exit

Savannah Marshall’s Rio 2016 hopes are in the balance after suffering a first round exit at the European Olympic qualifier in Turkey.

The Hartlepool boxer was today outpointed by Erika Guerrier in the round of 16 bout in Samsun.

It’s a shock defeat – and painful one – for the 24-year-old who now only has one opportunity left to win a spot at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Marshall must now turn back the clock at the World Championships in May.

The 24-year-old will be devastated by a close points loss to Guerrier, a boxer she would expect to beat nine times out of 10.

All three judges scored the opening two rounds to the French girl, leaving Marshall requiring a huge last session to turn it around.

Two judges awarded the last round to Marshall 10-9, but the other judge marked it for Guerrier.

It meant Marshall was beaten 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 to go out.

The Headland ABC star’s loss was the second shock result of the women’s middleweight session.

Number one seed Nouckha Fontijn suffered a points defeat at the hands of unheralded Irish boxer Christina Desmond.

With Dutch ace Fontijn in Marshall’s half of the draw, the route appeared to have been opened for the Dyke House girl to go all the way to the final and clinch one of the two spots on offer for Rio.

Now, Marshall must do the business at the Worlds in Kazakhstan from May 19.

She will need to repeat her glory run in 2012 when she became Britain’s second global gold medallist by winning the world title on her 21st birthday in China.

The four semi-finalists in Astrana will gain Rio places.