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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK

Golden joy for English duo

By John Haughey
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

England's David Dolan followed in the footsteps of Audley Harrison as he took Commonwealth Games' super-heavyweight gold.

His victory secured England's second boxing gold on Saturday after Londoner Darren Barker had outpointed Ugandan light-welterweight Mohammed Kayongo.

Dolan beat David Cadieux of Canada in a surprisingly one-sided encounter which he won 27-20 on points.

"Athens remains the target"
Darren Barker

"I just wanted to get off to a good start because I knew how strong I was and that my fitness would make a difference in the end," said Dolan.

"The occasion got to me a little bit and I felt a bit sloppy at times.

"Sometimes I thought I was trying a bit too hard but it worked. It hasn't sunk it at all yet," said the 22-year-old student.

Earlier, Barker had claimed England's first boxing gold of the Games as he beat Kayongo for light-welterweight gold.

Barker sunk to his knees in the ring and mother Jackie burst into tears ringside after watching her son fight for the first time.

He led by six points at the halfway stage but the Ugandan hit back well and landed a couple of strong right hands in the second round before Barker prevailed 18-14 on points.

The Englishman was ecstatic after his win.

"I've worked so hard for this. It's a dream come true - the highlight of my life," he said.

Despite his win, Barker claimed that he wasn't happy with his display.

"I wish I could have performed a bit better because that was below par in my eyes - but if I've got more to come then that must be saying something.

"Since I was a little kid I always dreamed of winning Olympic gold so I'll go back to the gym and that's what I'll work for now.

"Athens remains the target and I won't even think about whether to turn professional or not until then," added Barker.

Big rights

While Barker and Dolan claimed gold, their team-mates Paul Smith, Darran Langley and Steven Birch had to settle for silver.

Liverpool light-middleweight Smith put up a tremendous display before losing 18-16 to Canadian star Jean Thenistor Pascal.

Smith produced far and away his best performance of the games and fought back to level on three occasions in a frenetic final round.

But Pascal landed a couple of big rights in the closing 30 seconds to squeeze out the Englishman.

"I felt 100% in the end but I've had five fights in a week and that told," said Smith.

"I don't believe the hype about that guy and if I'd have fought him in the first or second bout in the tournament I think I'd have beaten him".

"I wanted to win it here so badly in front of all my family and friends"
Darren Langley

Darran Langley suffered heartbreak in the light-flyweight final as he squandered a five-point lead to lose against India's Mohammed Ali Qamar.

Langley looked set to become England's first ever winner of the Commonwealth light-flyweight title going into the final round.

But the Indian fought back magnificently in the final session to deservedly take his country's first ever Commonwealth boxing gold on a 27-25 scoreline.

Afterwards, a disappointed Langley revealed that his challenge had been hindered by a cold and an ankle injury.

"I wanted to win it here so badly in front of all my family and friends," he said.

Aussie gold

"But I've had some bad luck with me getting a cold and I also have had an ankle injury.

Middleweight Steven Birch found Australian southpaw Paul Miller too good in their final.

Miller claimed a 20-14 win to give the Australian's their first ever Commonwealth gold in the division.

"I've always had trouble with southpaws," said Miller afterwards.

"I've learned a lot at these Games and overall, I'm quite happy with a silver".


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