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Page last updated at 20:37 GMT, Saturday, 1 March 2008

GB boxers secure Beijing places

Billy Joe Saunders in action
Saunders had lost to Ukraine's Oleksandr Stretskyy on Friday

Billy Joe Saunders became the seventh British boxer to clinch his place at the 2008 Olympics after winning a bronze medal in a qualifying box-off.

The 18-year-old produced a controlled performance to beat Slovakia's Pavol Hlavacka 20-10 in Pescara, Italy.

Flyweight Khalid Yafai and middleweight James Degale both sealed their places for the 2008 Games on Friday.

But Liverpool featherweight Stephen Smith missed out when he was beaten 18-13 to Germany's Wilhelm Gratschow.

Birmingham-based Yafai, 19, fought back from seven points down to beat Moldova's Igor Samoilenco.

Yafai is hoping to emulate Amir Khan, who took silver in the flyweight division at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

"I'd seen Amir do it when he was even younger so that gave me encouragement," said Yafai.

"My aim now is to follow Amir and get a medal. I'm really proud to have qualified but the job's not done and I'm not just going to China for a holiday."

Degale had been floored in the second round against Istvan Szili, but the Londoner shrugged it aside for a 17-9 win over the Hungarian.

see also
Saunders maintains Beijing push
26 Feb 08 |  Boxing
Nevin secures place at Olympics
29 Feb 08 |  Boxing
Team GB for Beijing
28 Jan 08 |  Team GB
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing

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