Adams battles back into medal contention

18 April 2012 / 00:05

Two years ago Nicola Adams was in the grip of a crippling back injury which threatened her future in boxing. Now, with 100 days to go to the London Games, she is Great Britain's best hope of Olympic gold.

Adams, a two-time World Championship silver medallist, has been in imperious form so far this year, defeating two consecutive world champions en route to gold medals in tournaments in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

It is becoming abundantly clear that when she is on top form there are few in the world who can touch Adams, who hopes to pin down her Olympic berth at the World Championships in China in May.

But Adams, one of women's boxing's leading lights long before the sport was even being seriously considered for the Olympic programme, admits her form in 2012 has surprised even herself.

"If you'd told me two years ago that I'd be in this position I'd have thought you were mad," Adams said. "I was in bed for almost a year and the Olympics were the last thing on my mind.

"But there is no doubt that what I went through has made me stronger. I've got so much experience of the highs and lows now that I just box for the present and don't look back or too far into the future."

There were fears Adams would miss out on her big Olympic chance when she was hit by the injury but within six months of returning she had won her first World Championship silver medal, and is now increasingly becoming one of the poster athletes for 2012 at the head of a history-making women's squad.

As well as Adams, Hartlepool's Savannah Marshall is considered a realistic threat at middleweight while Liverpool lightweight Natasha Jonas is also experienced enough to move into contention.

"I don't feel pressure when everyone marks me down for a gold medal," Adams added. "I'd be more worried if people weren't expecting me to get a medal. I'd question whether I was good enough to achieve those things.

"Once it starts I'll get my head down and treat it just like any other competition. Having said that, I will throw myself into the Olympic experience."