Adams on verge of another gold, but Ashfaq is beaten
Nicola Adams - the Olympic and Commonwealth boxing champion from Leeds - is one step away from adding the European Games title to her growing trophy cabinet.
In Baku on Wednesday afternoon, Adams, 32, defeated Elif Coskun (Turkey) 3-0 in the semi-finals.
She now faces Sandra Drabik (Poland) for gold in Thursday’s final (2pm) BST at the inaugural championships.
Adams said: “I had to grind it out a little bit today but a win’s a win and I’m through to the final – hopefully I can bring back a gold medal.
“I really want this gold and I wanted it since I first heard about the European Games. It’s another chance at history and I keep creating history each time I get in the ring and I’m just loving the moment.
“I don’t think anyone can stop me. I’m hoping to bring back that gold medal. It would mean absolutely everything to me and I’d be overwhelmed with joy. It’s going to really make my day.”
Her fellow Leeds boxer Qais Ashfaq was, however, unable to follow her into the final and had to settle for bronze after losing his European Games semi-final against Belarussian victor Dzmitry Asanau.
Ashfaq said: “I wasn’t feeling my best today. I tried to put that to one side and I thought it was a good fight.
“I was a bit fatigued and not feeling too well so a fell a few times. On another day I could have beaten him.
“I don’t want to make excuses and he won the bout on the day and that’s all that matters and I’ll get him another day. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe not but I just wasn’t feeling myself today and I think that showed in the performance.
“This is really my first major senior tournament apart from the Commonwealth Games. The more experience I’m getting the better I’ll become.”