Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall looks to reach Rio Olympic Games to bury memories of London

Savannah Marshall's first experience of the Olympic Games left a sour taste in the mouth '“ now the Hartlepool boxer is looking to put things right by reaching Rio 2016.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 3:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2016, 4:21 pm
Savannah Marshall

It does not seem like four years ago that Marshall went into London 2012 as the tournament favourite, only to exit at the quarter-final in a controversial points defeat and a below-par display.

The former world champ is in the Great Britain squad who will compete at the European Continental qualification event in Turkey from April 7-18.

Marshall is one of the main contenders for the middleweight title at the tournament in Samsun.

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Two places are on offer in each of the women’s Olympic weight categories, meaning the Headland ABC star must reach the final to book her place on the plane to Brazil.

There is a further opportunity to clinch an Olympic place, at the World Championships in May in Kazakhstan where the four semi-finalists would qualify.

But the 24-year-old is keen to get the job completed and sooner rather than later.

“I want to get it done now if I can,” Marshall told SportMail.

“I really want to get to Rio and I’m not saying I’m going to do this or that if I do get there.

“I’m desperate to go there and perform because I know I didn’t perform in London.

“I want to go to an Olympics and show people what I can really do.

“I’ve watched it back [the 2012 quarter-final with Marina Volnova] and may be it was a bad decision, but I didn’t box as I know I could.

“That is what’s driving me on now to qualify in Turkey.”

It will be a tough task for the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who faces a threat from in-form Netherlands girl Nouchka Fontijn, former double world champ, Anna Laurell, from Sweden, and Germany’s Sarah Scheurich, among others.

“The European event is the hardest qualifier,” she said GB Boxing’s training base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

“But I’m injury-free, bang on the weight and feeling fit, I just can’t wait.

“Holland, Sweden, Germany and Russia all have top girls but I’m looking forward to it.

“I was in America in January for a two-week camp which went well and I’ve been training hard here, sparring with two of the GB boys, Troy Williamson and Josh Kelly.”

Marshall has just returned from the Strandja Cup in Bulgaria, where she made an early exit at the hands of arch-rival Fontijn.

“That’s how it goes sometimes with the draw,” she said. “It was close but she just edged me on points, but I took a lot out of the bout.

“At the back end of last year I won the Queens Cup in Germany and the GB Championship and have had a long injury-free run so I feel quite good.”