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Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 22:18 UK

GB fail to claim medals in Milan

Venue: Milan, Italy Date: 1-12 September
Coverage: Highlights on BBC Two and BBC Sport website (UK only), Sunday 1500-1600 BST

Khalid Yafai
Yafai was not happy with some of the scoring during his fight

Defeats for Khalid Yafai and Scott Cardle means Great Britain's amateur boxing team will return from the World Championships in Milan without a medal.

Flyweight Yafai failed to guarantee at least a bronze following a surprising 9-3 defeat to German Ronny Beblik.

Light-welterweight Cardle was comprehensively beaten 11-4 by Cuban world number one Roniel Sotolongo.

Irish bantamweight John Joe Nevin did secure at least bronze with a 7-5 win over China's Yu Gu.

Britain's failure to secure any medals places under scrutiny the decision of team bosses to overhaul the elite squad, which many felt unnecessary in the wake of the most successful Olympic performance of the last 56 years.

So much depends on the draw; it's all about who you get or, more to the point, who you don't get

Kevin Hickey
Performance director

Bradley Saunders, the only remaining Olympian, was absent from the Milan event after fracturing his thumb in a training bout.

New performance director Kevin Hickey admitted that medals were the target but believes the experience gained is more important.

"There is a huge difference between the sort of multi-nations events they are used to and boxing in a world championships or an Olympics," he said.

"It is like walking into a Premier League stadium, just the size of the organisation.

"When Bradley was injured we lost, arguably, our best medal hope, but we have got some talented boxers in the team.

"So much depends on the draw; it's all about who you get or, more to the point, who you don't get."

Further positives can be taken from the performances of Yafai and Cardle.

I've learned from the whole thing and next time I'll be back for a medal

Scott Cardle

Birmingham fighter Yafai had been impressive in advancing to the quarter-finals and could have gone further but for what he and his team felt was dubious scoring in his contest with Beblik.

A number of his apparently good shots did not count and he was penalised two points in the second round for a low blow.

Cardle's emergence will also please team bosses and the Blackpool fighter himself admits this experience will put him in good stead moving forward.

"I really wanted to finish the fight, I didn't think it was that bad," he said.

"But he was more experienced than me. I've learned from the whole thing and next time I'll be back for a medal."


The chance for further Irish medals were dashed as welterweight Willie McLoughlin was well beaten by Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy 16-7, and Olympic bronze medallist Kenneth Egan fell 17-9 to Abdelkader Bouhenia of France.

In Beijing last year, the British team won three medals, matching their total from the 2007 World Championships in Chicago, but afterwards head coach Terry Edwards' contract was not renewed.

In addition, all but two of the eight-strong Olympic squad then turned professional, many of them intimating they had not been offered enough incentives to remain amateur for the four-year run-up to 2012.

see also
GB duo close in on World medals
08 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Barnes is sent home over protest
07 Sep 09 |  Boxing
British boxing's next generation
31 Aug 09 |  Boxing
British boxers eye world medals
31 Aug 09 |  Boxing
Barnes backs sport bursary award
26 Nov 08 |  Northern Ireland
Barnes wants gold in London 2012
27 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Barnes loses light-fly semi-final
22 Aug 08 |  Boxing

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