Ogogo books Olympic spot

Anthony Ogogo booked his place on the British Olympic team at the European boxing qualifiers but Callum Smith's hopes are hanging by a thread.


Middleweight Ogogo, a silver medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, became the seventh British boxer to secure London 2012 selection after beating Belarusian Vitali Bandarenka 14-7 in his semi-final in Trabzon.

Ogogo has only just returned to the ring after five months out following shoulder surgery, an injury he blamed for his failure to qualify at the first attempt last year.

“I am just so thrilled and relieved to have finally qualified after all the challenges I have had to overcome," Ogogo told British Boxing.

"I have had so much bad luck with injuries but I never lost faith in myself and have had some amazing support from the coaches and all of the back-up team that have helped me to get over my shoulder injury and be in a position to compete in this qualifier.

“I always knew that if I got myself fully fit and free of injury then I could compete with the best in the world and I just want to thank all of the people that have helped me to do this.

"It will be a dream-come-true to represent Great Britain in a home Olympics and I cannot wait to walk out in that arena in London."

However, light heavyweight Smith's hopes are now out of his hands. He needed to reach the final of his event to qualify but lost narrowly in the semi-finals, 16-14, to Vatan Huseynli.

However, if Huseynli beats Turkish home favourite Bahram Muzaffer on Saturday he would earn the last of the three available European quota places in the weight division.

"I'm disappointed that Callum has not qualified and felt he boxed superbly as he has done all this week," said GB performance director Rob McCracken. "Hopefully the result of the final will go his way and we will have another qualifier.

“Whatever happens, I am very proud of the whole team and to have qualified seven boxers with the chance of an eighth is a fantastic achievement by the boxers, the coaches and all of the support staff."

Meanwhile, lightweight Josh Taylor, who secured his Team GB place by reaching the semi-finals, lost his last four encounter with Vazgen Safaryants - although his principle aim for the week had already been accomplished.

Taylor and Ogogo join Andrew Selby, Luke Campbell, Tom Stalker, Fred Evans and Anthony Joshua who secured their slots at last year's World Championships.

Savannah Marshall, Natasha Jonas and Nicola Adams will hope to complete the squad but they must reach the semi-finals at next month's women's World Championships in China.

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