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Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 17:12 UK

GB boxers guaranteed five medals at European Champs

Gamal Yafai
Gamal Yafai is competing in his first major senior tournament

Great Britain are guaranteed their most successful European Championships since 1961 after three more boxers won their quarter-finals in Moscow on Wednesday.

Bantamweight Gamal Yafai joined his brother Khalid in the semis, as did lightweight Thomas Stalker and Welsh bantamweight Andrew Selby.

All four fighters, plus featherweight Iain Weaver, will box for final places on Friday.

"What they've achieved is phenomenal," said head coach Rob McCracken.

"We've got a young team and this is regarded as the toughest tournament in amateur boxing. It is a great boost for our hopes looking ahead to London 2012.

"It is going to get much harder on Friday but the lads are so full of confidence and they have all come on so well in training over the last few months."

BEN DIRS' BLOG

The last time GB won more than two medals at the tournament was in 1975, and the last time they won five was in 1961, when the final tally was two gold and three bronze.

Birmingham's Gamal, 18, pulled off an upset win over Ireland's 54kg World Championship bronze medallist John Joe Nevin.

A superb display of counter-punching saw him breeze through 7-1 to join flyweight Khalid, who made it through on Tuesday.

Gamal said: "It's the best feeling ever to have guaranteed a medal in my first major senior tournament but I'm going for a place in the final and gold now."

Behind the scenes with Britain's top amateur boxers

Potentially Gamal could meet his team-mate Selby in the final after the Barry boxer beat Turkey's Furkan Memis 4-1.

Liverpool lightweight Stalker survived a countback scare to edge Latvia's Artjoms Ramlavs.

Stalker was not in the same form as he had been beating reigning world champion Domenico Valentino last time out and admitted he may have approached the fight feeling a little over-confident.

Stalker, 25, said: "I looked at my opponent and thought he wouldn't be too strong but he was better than I thought.

"But I got through and it's a great feeling to get a medal. I'm so happy to finally get a bit of luck.

"The confidence in this team is great. We have a real winning mentality. We used to walk past other teams like the Russians and fear them. Now it is the Russians and the rest who are fearing us."

However, there was disappointment for Liverpool light-flyweight Tommy Stubbs, who was comfortably beaten 8-1 by Belfast's Beijing bronze medallist Paddy Barnes.

Meanwhile, Ireland lightweight Eric Donovan beat Hungary's Miklos Varga, meaning Ireland, like Great Britain, have five boxers guaranteed at least bronze medals.

Tyrone McCullagh - who next meets Weaver - Darren O'Neill and Ken Egan all made it through on Tuesday.



see also
Weaver & Yafai guaranteed medals
08 Jun 10 |  Boxing
GB boxers off to a flyer at Euros
07 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Campbell misses out on Europeans
20 May 10 |  Boxing
British boxing names podium squad
28 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Ex-pro McCracken to guide GB team
05 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Woodhall trains Olympic hopefuls
27 Jan 10 |  Boxing
British boxing chief Hickey quits
14 Sep 09 |  Boxing
GB fail to claim medals in Milan
09 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Campbell eyes big prize
12 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Campbell earns historic title win
15 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Edwards expresses GB boxing fears
14 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing


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