Tokyo Olympics: Lauren Price beats Li Qian to win women’s middleweight boxing gold

Lauren Price
Lauren Price defeated Li Qian with a unanimous points victory

Britain’s Lauren Price became the first Welsh fighter to win an Olympic boxing gold medal as she beat China’s Li Qian in the women’s middleweight final.

Price, 27, gained a 5-0 points victory at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo to earn Britain’s 22nd gold of the Games.

She becomes the second British woman to win boxing gold after Nicola Adams’ flyweight successes in 2012 and 2016.

Britain have won 65 medals in Tokyo, matching their London 2012 total, with 22 golds, 21 silvers and 22 bronze.

Incredible athlete Price makes history

Price, who has played international football for Wales and been a world kickboxing champion, won the opening round against former world champion Li with all five judges, able to pick off punches against her taller opponent thanks to quick hands and feet.

She continued to dominate in the second round, controlling the pace and tempo with her 31-year-old opponent struggling to land. Four of the judges gave that round to Price, meaning Li needed a stoppage or knockout in the final round.

But Price was never in danger in the third as her near-flawless performance gave her a 30-27 winning margin on all five judges’ scorecards.

She had already become only the third Welsh boxer to win an Olympic boxing medal after Fred Evans won welterweight silver at London 2012 and Ralph Evans won a light-flyweight bronze at the 1972 Games in Munich.

Newport-born Price has also represented Wales at international level in different age groups in netball and taekwondo and won world, European and British honours in kickboxing.

Between 2012 and 2014, she played 52 times as a centre-half for the Welsh women’s national football team before she focused on boxing.

Lauren Price
Lauren Price (number five) played 52 times for the Wales national women’s football team

She quickly set history by becoming the first Welsh woman to win a Commonwealth Games medal with a bronze in Glasgow in 2014, before taking gold four years later on Australia’s Gold Coast and then winning a World Championship gold medal in 2019.

GB end boxing event with six medals, including two golds

Price’s gold was Britain’s second in the ring in Tokyo following Galal Yafai’s win in the men’s flyweight competition on Saturday.

Pat McCormack (men’s welterweight) and Ben Whittaker (men’s light-heavyweight) both won silvers while Frazer Clarke (men’s super-heavyweight) and Kariss Artingstall (women’s featherweight) collected bronze medals.

It means Team GB won six medals – two gold, two silver and two bronze – from their 11-strong team, the most British boxing medals at a Games since Antwerp in 1920, although they did win three golds at London 2012.

Earlier on Sunday, Ireland’s Kellie Harrington beat Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s lightweight final.

Harrington, 31, who works as a cleaner at a hospital in Dublin, became the second Irish woman to win boxing gold after Katie Taylor took lightweight gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.

It was a superb performance from Harrington, who collected a unanimous points victory, with two of the five judges giving her the win by 30-27 margins, with the other three scoring it 29-28 in her favour.

More to follow.

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