Savannah Marshall is just one win away from winning her first Olympic medal.
The Hartlepool boxer reached the quarter-final of the middleweight division when she outpointed experienced Swede Anna Laurell in Rio last night.
It set her up with a bout in the last eight against her bogey opponent, Nouchka Fontijn, on Wednesday night.
But the 25-year-old knows that a victory over the number two seed, from the Netherlands, will guarantee her the minimum of a bronze medal.
Marshall was not impressed with her performance against the 36-year-old though was “happy” to get the first contest out of the way, especially after tripping at the first hurdle at London 2012.
“I thought I boxed terribly and thought it was a lot closer than a unanimous decision,” said the Headland U75 kilo star, who was cheered on at the Riocentro Pavilion 6 venue by parents, Christine and John.
“She came out really sharp and I could hear the crowd shouting ‘Anna, Anna’ so I thought I must be down on points. I am just so just happy to get through.
The victory was worth the wait for the Commonwealth Games champ, who has been kicking her heels until her first contest.
“It’s been horrible waiting around,” she said.
“People are collecting medals and I’ve just had my first bout.
“I was really nervous before the fight and I’m just happy to get that win out of the way.”
Next up is a revenge mission against nemesis, Fontijn, who has four wins in a row against the Poolie, including one at the World Championship semi-final in May.
“I really want a medal, and she is in my way,” Marshall added.
“She has beaten me the last four times – some of those decisions I thought were a bit harsh – but this is the time now.”
Marshall joked that she has promised herself one treat when her Olympic campaign is done – hopefully with a medal – a meal at McDonald’s!
“My flat here is outside McDonald’s,” she laughed.
“I keep saying ‘one more week and I’ll be in that queue’.
“But they don’t do double cheeseburgers, so I’m going to buy four cheeseburgers and throw two of the buns away.
“I’ve planned it all.”