Hartlepool boxer Savaannah Marshall must finish the job at World Championships
Savannah Marshall is guaranteed a dream second Olympic chance '“ and a World Championship medal.
But the Hartlepool boxer’s coach, Tim Coulter, wants to see the 25-year-old “finish the job” in Kazakhstan.
The Headland ABC middleweight qualified for Rio by reaching the last four in the worlds by outboxing Qian Li in Astana yesterday, when she also ensured she would win at least a bronze medal .
It also set her up with a crunch semi-final tomorrow against arch-rival Nouchka Fontijn.
“I’m chuffed to bits,” said Coulter. “I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous but I knew she had the ability to do it and she has.
“The live coverage on the internet was down so there was a tense wait for each round to end and the scores to come up.
“I’m so happy she’s off to Rio, to be a two-time Olympian is special.
“Savannah’s problem seems to be the first round bout but she was brilliant against Elena Vystropova and grown from there.
“It’s fantastic she has her Olympic place but the World Championships are not over and I’ll now be looking for her to finish the job.”
That won’t be easy. Fontijn, who also qualified for Rio yesterday, is not just the world number two but is the only girl in the world with a winning record against Marshall.
The score stands at 4-1, including three in a row, the 2015 European Games, the 2015 Feliks Stamm final and the 2016 Strandja Cup.
“I watched the last one [the Strandja in Bulgaria] and it was probably the right decision,” said Coulter. “But this is the world semi-finals and I’d take defeat in them if she wins this one.
“Nouchka is good but Savannah can beat her, I have no doubts about that.
“I want her to get this monkey off her back, make a statement and get to the world final.
“Savannah has speed, strength and she’ll be confident after these wins in the worlds. She can do it.”
Today is rest day in Astana, probably just as well, so Marshall can let it all sink in and then get back to business tomorrow – the business of winning.
The girl from Dyke House said a big thank you to everyone for the support and belief.
“I’d like to thank all of my team, my team mates, my coach Tim Coulter, Sky and my family and friends for all of their hard work in supporting and believing in me,” said Marshall who went out in the quarter-finals at the London Games.
“I am really happy and grateful to be given another chance to compete at the Olympic Games.”