Savannah Marshall’s Olympic gold bid starts now, claims coach

Savannah Marshall
Savannah Marshall

Tim Coulter insists Savannah Marshall has every chance of striking gold at the 2016 Olympics.

And the Headland ABC coach says the road to Rio starts now for the 24-year-old.

This is a big tournament for her and could kick-start the countdown to the Olympics

Tim Coulter

Marshall is in Azerbaijan with Team GB for the inaugural European Games with the boxing competition getting under way tomorrow in Baku.

The Commonwealth Games champ takes on world No 3 Nouchka Fontijn, from the Netherlands, in a tough quarter-final.

It is the first major tournament for the Hartlepool girl since she fell at the first hurdle of the defence of her world title in South Korea last November.

Defeat to former world junior champion, Iaroslava Iakushina, was her first loss since she suffered a shock and controversial quarter-final exit at the 2012 Olympics.

Coulter has absolutely no doubts about Marshall’s position as one of the best female middleweights on the planet.

“I know some people think that because she went out of the Olympics and the Worlds in her first fight that it’s a bottle thing,” said Coulter.

“But she went and won the Commonwealth Games in a big tournament at home so that’s not an issue.

“Yes, London 2012 was a disappointment to her and for everyone.

“But she responded to that by winning her next 14 fights and getting three gold medals along the way.

“I think she just had an off-day against Iakushina, they happen, it’s just a shame it was at the World Championships.

“To have lost just once in 15 contests is not something to panic about.

“I said to Savannah that these things happen for a reason and while it didn’t go her way at the worlds, she will move on.

“This is a big tournament for her and could kick-start the countdown to the Olympics.”

Marshall goes into the competition in the former Soviet republic on the back of a surprise semi-final defeat to Lauren Price, from Wales, in the Boxam Cup in Spain last month.

But there is no worries from Coulter.

“To be honest, Savannah looks as good as I’ve known, physically and mentally,” he said.

“I wasn’t there but having spoken to her, she thinks she’d done more than enough to win but didn’t get the verdict.

“Savannah is the type of girl who can beat someone up and then say ‘I didn’t box well’.

“If anything, she puts herself down, but this time she said she thought she’d won so perhaps she was just on the wrong end of a bad decision.

“I don’t think it will have any affect on her for the European Games.”