Anthony Ogogo hoping for favourable draw at Olympic qualifying event
Lowestoft boxer Anthony Ogogo admits his nerves will be jangling when the draw is made for the final Olympic qualifying event in Turkey this weekend.
The 23-year-old will be hoping for a favourable route to the final, which he must reach to fulfil his London 2012 dream, when the draw is made tomorrow.
Ogogo goes into the competition in confident mood having won the Czech Grand Prix last month and has looked in great shape with the Team GB boxing squad during a specially arranged training camp held in France last week.
The Triple A boxer has suffered no ill-effects from the shoulder operation he had in October but admitted to feeling nervous ahead of the draw.
'The official weigh in, then the draw, are by far the most nerve-racking time,' he said. 'It's all done at random so you can't have any effect on it, which isn't nice. The draw can play such a massive part. Even when you have a tough draw and you beat people who are good it can take it out of you for later bouts.
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'At the Commonwealth Games I had a really tough draw and I was spent when I got to the final and lost to somebody, who I am better than.
'It's one of the biggest variables you've got to contend with.'
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World number five Artem Chebotarev is certainly one to avoid for Ogogo in the early rounds although he has beaten the Russian at the World Championships last year.
World number 12 Adem Kilicci, from home favourites Turkey, is another fighter to potentially steer clear of – especially with a fervent home following – while French fighter Mathieu Bauderlique is also likely to be in contention.
Ogogo has embarked on a gruelling rehabilitation schedule to recover from the operation on his left shoulder and, having established the level of fitness required, has been sharpening up in the ring under the guise of GB coach Rob McCracken.
'It's all about being ready now,' he added. 'There's loads of things that I can learn and improve upon but because we are so close I don't think I've got the time to learn new things. When you learn a new skill, it takes a long time to get good at it. It's just about sharpening up and hopefully what I've got in the locker will be enough to see me qualify. It's been all about getting back to what I can do.'
Keep track of Ogogo's progress in Turkey throughout next week by logging on to www.lowestoftjournal.co.uk