Last week, Liverpool's Natasha Jonas cemented her place at the London 2012 Olympic Games by reaching the semi finals of the World Championships in China.
Needing to finish as one of the top three Europeans in the lightweight division to confirm a place, Tasha bested the Norweigan entrant in their quarter final bout on Wednesday morning to reach the semi final. Victory for the Tajik entrant over the French boxer ensured that Tasha qualified for the Olympic Games alongside teamates Nicola Adams and Savannah Marshall.
The trio are the first ever female boxers to represent Great Britain at the Olympic Games as the sport makes it's debut this time around.
In her latest exclusive diary for Livefight, Tasha talks about that fantastic two weeks in China.
I got back from China yesterday and itís been mad. Loads of friends and family met me at the airport and we had a little do last night.
The training camp before the World Championships was a long one. I think it just feels like that because we knew we were gonna be there for such a long time but once the tournament actually started it was brilliant.
You try and treat it like any other tournament but it was hard because we knew were so close and that it was our only chance to qualify; it was either success or failure. To make things worse, we [Myself, flyweight Nicola Adams and middleweight Savannah Marshall] turned up thinking that if we got to the quarter finals we would qualify for the Olympics. We went to the delegateís meeting the day before the tournament started and realised that we had to be one of the top three Europeans! At least four or five of the best boxers in the world at my weight [60kg or lightweight] are Europeans so when I found that out I thought ĎOh God!í It was a bit of a smack in the face but I just had to get on and do it.
The draw was done after the delegateís meeting. That could have been nerve-wracking but on Team GB they only tell you who youíre boxing that day. Obviously if you wanted to see who you could be fighting you could go on the AIBA website but I donít. I just take every day as it comes. Itís worked for me in other tournaments before so Iíve stuck with it.
I beat Rebecca Price [18-8], Sandra Brugger [23-11] and Laishram Devi [25-22] but still wasnít assured of being one of the top three Europeans. As I walked out for my quarter final the Tajik girl was boxing the French girl. If the Tajik girl won and then I beat Ingrid Egner from Norway, then I would qualify for the Olympics. The Tajik girl was only two points ahead. Iíve come back from two points behind before so I know that two points is everything but nothing at the same time.
I just concentrated on my own bout and my team didnít say anything until afterwards. When I turned around they were saying ĎYouíve done it!í but I still didnít know what they were talking about. When I got to my corner and they told me that France had lost I went ďYes!Ē Iíve waited for that moment since 2009 when they said womenís boxing was gonna be in the Olympics.
Every time weíve been away and gone a long way in a tournament they always give you a week off. Theyíve just said that weíre gonna be doing more of the sameÖ..and a bit more! If we thought it was hard before then itís gonna get harder. People have been asking if I feel any different but itís exactly the same. You just know that youíre going somewhere at the end of it. I didnít wake up the next morning a whole new changed person. I just know where Iím going now.
See you next month!
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