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Made in Leeds: How Nicola Adams grew to the brink of Olympic glory

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  • by Paul Robinson
 

She’s the big-hitting Leeds lass who’s determined to make her home city proud as punch.

Nicola Adams goes for gold today in the flyweight final of the Olympic women’s boxing competition.

But, as these pictures show, she wasn’t always a fearsome fighting machine.

And last night the mum who watched as the little girl in our photos became a world-class sportswoman told of her hopes for the final.

Dee Adams, from Ebor Gardens, said: “I’m feeling pretty good about it – I’m sure she’s going to do Leeds, Yorkshire and the whole of Great Britain proud.”

Former Agnes Stewart School pupil Nicola reached the Olympic final – and guaranteed herself at least a silver medal – with a comfortable victory yesterday over India’s Mary Kom.

She even found time in the closing stages of the contest to produce an ‘Ali shuffle’ as a tribute to her boxing idol Muhammad Ali.

Nicola’s opponent today is China’s Ren Cancan, who beat her in the 2010 and 2012 world championship finals.

But the 29-year-old has assured her fans back in Leeds that she will be going into the ring with no fear.

Speaking after yesterday’s win, Nicola said: “I’ve been training for this moment since I was 12-years-old and to think it is finally here is just incredible.

“I am going to treat it like a normal tournament, and hopefully the crowd will give me a boost to edge away and get the gold.

“I’ve beaten her once before and I’m definitely confident I can go out and do it again.

“I massively want that gold. Words can’t express how much I want it.”

Nicola’s bout at the ExCeL Arena yesterday was watched by Prime Minister David Cameron.

London 2012 is the first Olympics to include women’s boxing.

 

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