GB trio chosen for women's boxing World Championships
GB Women selected for Boxing World Championships
By Nabil Hassan
Flyweight Nicola Adams, lightweight Amanda Coulson and welterweight Savannah Marshall will represent England at the World Championships.
The women's Championships take place in Barbados from 9-18 September, the first since the sport gained Olympic status.
"They've got to grasp the opportunity," Great Britain performance director Rob McCracken told BBC Sport.
The Great Britain team trio are joined by bantamweight Sharon Holford and light-welterweight Chantelle Cameron.
Adams and Coulson will compete in two of the three weight categories that have been selected for the 2012 Olympic Games (51kg and 60kg), while Marshall, who has been chosen by Great Britain Boxing for the Olympic middleweight category, will test herself at 69kg in Barbados and move up to 75kg in 2011.
For Adams her selection is a huge boost after an injury-plagued 12 months.
ENGLAND WOMEN'S BOXING TEAM
Flyweight (51kg) - Nicola Adams
Bantamweight (54kg) - Sharon Holford
Lightweight (60kg) - Amanda Coulson
Light-welterweight (64kg) - Chantelle Cameron
Welterweight (69kg) - Savannah Marshall
The 27-year-old from Leeds has beaten off competition from Amateur Boxing Association champion Nina Smith and Lucy O'Connor.
Adams made history in 2008 by becoming the first English woman to win a World Championship medal, narrowly missing out on gold in China when losing to Polish world number one, Karolina Michalczuk.
But the Great Britain flyweight has endured a difficult year with a back injury hampering her progress and has only recently recovered to full fitness.
So with her injury problems behind her, Adams is determined to justify her selection ahead of Smith who recently impressed at the ABA finals in Portsmouth.
"Selection means absolutely the world to me," she told BBC Sport at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
"Just to get a chance to go and perform and hopefully bring back a medal is brilliant.
"It's got to be really hard because of the weight changes through the divisions, so there are going to be even more champions.
Amanda Coulson, Savannah Marshall and Nicola Adams will represent GB
"Everyone I'll be boxing against will be a European medallist or a world medallist. It's going to be the best of the best so it's going to be tough but I'm planning on coming out on top."
Selection has greater importance with the London Games less than two years away with a good performance leaving the three women in pole position to gain the three places available in the Great Britain Olympic boxing team for 2012.
The most competitive division, lightweight, saw 28-year-old Coulson from Hartlepool pip four-time ABA champion Natasha Jonas and bright prospect Ruth Raper to selection.
Jonas, 22, recently disappointed at the EU Championships in Hungary losing in the first round with the experience of three-time ABA champion and European Championships silver medallist Coulson, edging selection in her favour.
"It's a fantastic opportunity I've been given and a great honour to represent GB," Coulson told BBC Sport.
"I'm really excited and I look forward to getting out there, performing well and doing my best. I'm planning to come away with a medal."
McCracken admits that choosing which lightweight to send to Barbados was the toughest decision but is confident that British Boxing has made the right one.
"It was a tough decision and a close call," added McCracken.
"It was really between Amanda and Natasha and you've got to go on current form. On current form Coulson's form is better than Jonas' and that's how we work. The boxer in form will get the opportunity to perform and that's the fair way to be."
The boxer in form will get the opportunity to perform and that's the fair way to be
Rob McCracken - GB performance director
While the decision was tough at lightweight it was relatively straightforward at middleweight with Marshall unchallenged in that division.
There are high hopes for Marshall ahead of London 2012 and September's Championships will provide an intriguing insight as to how good the 19-year-old from Hartlepool can be on the world stage.
"It means everything to me to box at the Championships, I'm very excited," admitted Marshall.
And she added of her aspirations: "I want to win a medal I would like it to be gold."
"Savannah is a young girl and a huge talent but I think she'll handle the pressure as she's already hugely experienced," continued McCracken.
"She's won some big tournaments already and has got an old head on young shoulders. Savannah is a tremendous talent and another big prospect that we have in women's boxing."
The team for the World Championships will leave on 26 August and spend 10 days acclimatising in a holding camp in Miami.
The bouts in Barbados consist of four rounds of two minutes each with one minute to rest between rounds.
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