Britain’s Nicola Adams became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title when she stormed her way past China’s Ren Cancan to take the flyweight gold today.
Adams easily recorded a 16-7 win in the final at the ExCel Arena in south east London over the three times world champion.
The Briton shadow boxed in each corner of the ring in delight after the fourth and final two minute round, all of which she dominated.
“I have just wanted this all my life, all this support has really made my day. I am just so happy and overwhelmed tonight,” Adams said.
The noisy crowd, including British royalty in the form of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, roared in delight as Adams bossed the early exchanges to open up 4-2 lead after the first round.
Adams evaded the jabs of Ren to land clever shots and get in the face of her illustrious opponent, who had impressed at the Games with her ability to fight at a distance with her rangy jab.
Adams then landed a massive right hand halfway through the second round to dump Ren flat on her back on the canvas as she took a 9-4 lead.
The intensity unsettled Ren who tried to mix it with Adams rather than use the boxing artistry that had taken her to three world championships as the Briton easily closed out the contest, the first of three women’s boxing finals today.
Losing semi-finalists Mary Kom of India and American Marlen Esparez took bronze.
Meanwhile Ireland’s Katie Taylor also won boxing gold today, capping a scintillating career that delivered four world titles and saw her lead the charge for the inclusion of the women’s event at the Olympics.
Taylor, the overwhelming favourite for lightweight gold, beat Russia’s Sofya Ochigava 10-8 in front of an arena packed once again with travelling Irish fans desperate for their first gold of the Games.
In a rematch of this year’s world championship final, Taylor started cagier than in previous fights, catching Ochigava with two big right hooks but taking a left square on to leave the scores tied after one round.
The caution continued in the second as Taylor fell a point behind, the Russian catching her with another couple of smart lefts but Taylor owned the third round, catching the Russian enough times to open up a two-point lead.
She hung on in a last round that was tied and looked visibly nervous as she awaited the decision before going to her corner to hug her coach and father Peter and running around the ring with an Irish flag.
Losing semi-finalists Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan and Brazilian Adriana Araujo took bronze.
And in a third final, American teenager Claressa Shields outfoxed and outgunned Russian Nadezda Torlopova, 33, to win the first women’s Olympic boxing middleweight gold.
Shields, 17, took the bout 19-12 at the Excel Arena to claim America’s only gold medal in the ring at the Games after the nine men all exited before the semi-finals.
The grinning Shields danced her way out of the arena to cap her rise to the top from the tough streets of Flint, Michigan. Losing semi-finalists Li Jinzi of China and Kazak Marina Volnova took bronze.