May 24 2013 Latest news:
Michael Bailey , London Olympics correspondent
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo is an Olympic medallist after a comfortable victory in his men’s middleweight 75kg division quarter-final against Germany’s Stefan Hartel.
Taking on the 24-year-old from Lauchhammer and in front of a vociferous Excel Arena home crowd, Ogogo soon settled down to show measured quality and tight defence in a composed nine minutes Hartel seemed unable to disrupt.
Opening with a 5-2 first round, things were a little edgier in a tight second as Hartel tried to open up. But Ogogo still had the quality to nick it 5-4 in his favour before a slightly leggy third and final three minutes – understandable given Ogogo’s epic win over Ukrainian top seed Ievgen Khytrov four days earlier.
There was no need to panic however, as Ogogo took it 5-4 thanks to a stirring final flourish to win 15-10 and send the Excel crowd into wild raptures.
With no bronze medal fights in Olympic boxing, the win guarantees a medal for the Nirvana BC fighter – yet things could get even better for Ogogo.
He now prepares for his semi-final on Friday afternoon (3pm) with Brazilian third seed Esquiva Falcao Florentino, where victory would crown him with at least a silver medal and a shot at becoming Olympic champion.
“I feel really proud to have that extra medal for my country, but I am going for a gold medal,” said Ogogo, who has had to deal with surgery, a frantic qualifying bid and his mum falling seriously ill in recent weeks.
“The bronze feels good but it’s not enough. It’s an insurance policy. But I have wanted gold since I was 12 years old so that’s what I am going for.
“No one dreams of becoming a bronze medallist. Everyone dreams of gold and I am no different.
“It is not just my injuries, but mentally with the problems at home. Coming home and bringing a medal to my mum… I don’t want to cry so I am going to tough it out.
“My sister is home from hospital with her beautiful boy Sonny. I can’t wait to see him and take home the medal.
“I tried to execute the plan. I took a few right hands and I might get a slap on the wrist when we review the fight – I made some mistakes but I tried to execute the game plan and I got 15 points, so I must have done some things well.
“But the crowd gave me a second wind, a third wind, a fourth wind.”
Hartel added: “In the first round I damaged my right hand, which I had already broken before so that limited me.
“I feel that the referees favoured Ogogo because of the crowd. It would have been nice to come away with a medal but I came here for experience. I am now going on holiday.”
- To re-live Ogogo’s victory, see the photo gallery at the top-right of this page.