Nicola makes history with a silver success

LEEDS amateur boxer Nicola Adams has claimed a piece of history by becoming the first English woman to bring home a medal from a major international championship.

The 24-year-old student returned from the European Championship in Denmark with a silver medal after losing to reigning world champion Sofya Ochigava during the 54kg final on Saturday.

Adams was beaten 9-7 after three competitive rounds with the Russian, but her progression to the final single-handedly led England's challenge for their maiden European success.

The Burmantofts fighter was the only English representative to progress beyond the quarter-finals in the Danish city of Vejle, and Adams' run from the preliminary stages saw her dispatch boxers from Greece, Bulgaria and Ukraine before falling to Ochigava.

Adams said: "I'm the first female fighter from this country to win a medal and I'm very proud of that, but I'm a bit disappointed not have got the gold.

"The Russian's the world champion and she's a really good fighter. All three rounds were close and it could have gone either way.

"I've got another European competition coming up in December so I'll definitely be going for the gold then. But I'm very pleased that I've come back with a medal."

Adams is a multiple ABA champion, but her performance against Europe's leading boxers has strengthened her already impressive amateur record.

She took the decision to move camps earlier this year, leaving long-time trainer Leroy Brown of Sharky's Boxing Academy in Leeds for the Hard And Fast amateur gym in Barnsley.

Adams' preparation for last week's tournament was completed under new coach Martin Utley, but she was forced to mount a spirited comeback to prevent a quarter-final exit in Vejle.

The England international had beaten Greece's Athina Melefaki on the outclass rule during the preliminary stages, but she fell seven points behind last-eight opponent Stoyka Petrova before two standings counts saw the Bulgarian beaten by a single point.

Ukraine's Ludmila Hrytsay was also beaten by a one-point margin to secure Adams' place in the final, but Ochigava's experience told as Adams fell three points short of the goal medal.