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Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Saturday, 23 August 2008 14:03 UK

Superb DeGale lands boxing gold

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Video - DeGale takes middleweight gold for GB

James DeGale won Great Britain's 19th gold at the Beijing Games with a 16-14 win over Cuba's Emilio Correa in a bad-tempered middleweight final.

Londoner DeGale had a superb start and was 6-1 ahead after the opening round when Correa was penalised two points for biting his opponent's shoulder.

The 22-year-old was 10-4 up at halfway but as the bout got increasingly scrappy, Correa clawed his way back.

The lead was reduced to two in the final tense moments but DeGale hung on.

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DeGale's medal was Team GB's third in boxing - after bronzes for super-heavyweight David Price and light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries - meaning they exceeded UK Sport's target of two medals of any colour.

DeGale, who was ranked as one of the outsiders for gold in Beijing, sank to his knees at the end of the bout before parading around the ring with the Union Flag draped over his shoulders.

"It was not that good, but it was strong," he said. "I just wanted to win. He was pretending that I was holding on to him - and then he bit me in the first round.

"He was tough, horrible and strong throughout the bout. But I'm Olympic champion, it's unbelievable."

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Video - DeGale delight at middleweight gold

Correa was trying to emulate his father, who won Olympic gold at welterweight in Munich in 1972, but struggled to cope with DeGale's counterpunching.

He closed the deficit in the third round, winning it 6-2, as he lured DeGale into a streetfight and the Hammersmith fighter was penalised for holding.

It set up a wild finish with the Cuban digging in and DeGale responding with shots of his own to just about maintain his advantage in a thrilling finale.

"I'm not happy with the way the judges scored the fight but that's it," said Correa. "He won and he's got the gold medal."

Britain's boxing coach Terry Edwards was delighted with the victory although he did think the referee "lost the plot" during the contest.

"The last minute was painful," he told BBC Sport. "It was not the greatest bout but you have to do what you have to do in an Olympic final."

Edwards, who was appointed by UK Sport, was again critical of the Amateur Boxing Association, which he believes is trying to undermine him.

Video - DeGale and Jefferies skip-off

"The return of medals in Beijing is down to UK Sport and we have delivered, so you deliver for us," he said.

On a more positive note, Mayor of London Boris Johnson was quick to send his congratulations to DeGale.

"Our man is a great ambassador for our city and is further tribute to the inspirational performance of team GB," said Johnson.




Boxing medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forChina 2 1 1 4
Men's Light Fly Weight (48kg) 1 0 0
Men's Light Heavy Weight (81kg 1 0 0
Men's Super Heavy Weight (+91k 0 1 0
Men's Welter Weight (69kg) 0 0 1
2 also show each event results forRussia 2 0 1 3
Men's Fly Weight (51kg) 0 0 1
Men's Heavy Weight (91kg) 1 0 0
Men's Light Weight (60kg) 1 0 0
3 also show each event results forItaly 1 1 1 3
Men's Fly Weight (51kg) 0 0 1
Men's Heavy Weight (91kg) 0 1 0
Men's Super Heavy Weight (+91k 1 0 0
4 also show each event results forMongolia 1 1 0 2
Men's Bantam Weight (54kg) 1 0 0
Men's Light Fly Weight (48kg) 0 1 0
5 also show each event results forThailand 1 1 0 2
Men's Fly Weight (51kg) 1 0 0
Men's Light Welter Weight (64k 0 1 0
6 also show each event results forGreat Britain 1 0 2 3
Men's Light Heavy Weight (81kg 0 0 1
Men's Middle Weight (75kg) 1 0 0
Men's Super Heavy Weight (+91k 0 0 1
7 also show each event results forKazakhstan 1 0 1 2
Men's Light Heavy Weight (81kg 0 0 1
Men's Welter Weight (69kg) 1 0 0
8 also show each event results forUkraine 1 0 1 2
Men's Feather Weight (57kg) 1 0 0
Men's Super Heavy Weight (+91k 0 0 1
9 also show each event results forDominican Rep 1 0 0 1
Men's Light Welter Weight (64k 1 0 0
10 also show each event results forCuba 0 4 4 8
Men's Bantam Weight (54kg) 0 1 0
Men's Fly Weight (51kg) 0 1 0
Men's Heavy Weight (91kg) 0 0 1
Men's Light Fly Weight (48kg) 0 0 1
Men's Light Weight (60kg) 0 0 1
Men's Light Welter Weight (64k 0 0 1
Men's Middle Weight (75kg) 0 1 0
Men's Welter Weight (69kg) 0 1 0
11 also show each event results forFrance 0 2 1 3
Men's Feather Weight (57kg) 0 1 0
Men's Light Weight (60kg) 0 1 0
Men's Light Welter Weight (64k 0 0 1
12 also show each event results forIreland 0 1 2 3
Men's Light Fly Weight (48kg) 0 0 1
Men's Light Heavy Weight (81kg 0 1 0
Men's Middle Weight (75kg) 0 0 1
13 also show each event results forArmenia 0 0 1 1
Men's Light Weight (60kg) 0 0 1
14 also show each event results forAzerbaijan 0 0 1 1
Men's Feather Weight (57kg) 0 0 1
15 also show each event results forIndia 0 0 1 1
Men's Middle Weight (75kg) 0 0 1
16 also show each event results forMauritius 0 0 1 1
Men's Bantam Weight (54kg) 0 0 1
17 also show each event results forRep of Moldova 0 0 1 1
Men's Bantam Weight (54kg) 0 0 1
18 also show each event results forSouth Korea 0 0 1 1
Men's Welter Weight (69kg) 0 0 1
19 also show each event results forTurkey 0 0 1 1
Men's Feather Weight (57kg) 0 0 1
20 also show each event results forUSA 0 0 1 1
Men's Heavy Weight (91kg) 0 0 1

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see also
Olympics day 15 as it happened
23 Aug 08 |  Live action
DeGale sparkles on way to final
22 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Briton DeGale wins boxing medal
20 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Beijing 2008
14 Feb 08 |  Olympics


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