Peter McGrail and Muhammad Ali weren’t about to let a second Youth Olympic Games medal slip through their grasps as the boxing duo collected bronze in Nanjing.
Both McGrail and Ali had won bronze and silver respectively from April’s World Youth Championships and had their sights on upgrading that to gold in China.
But after suffering defeats to the reigning world champions in their weight division, they had to focus all their attentions on bronze.
And McGrail was in fine form 24 hours after suffering his heartache, beating Slovakian Michal Takacs by a unanimous decision to claim his medal.
“I would have loved the gold medal but I am really happy to be leaving with a bronze medal,” McGrail said.
“I am over the mean really because I came here looking to win a medal and I have done that which is great.
“I came for the gold medal and I fought one of my best fights and a lot of people were saying that I should have got the decision but it is down to the judges.
“So I returned and fought my heart out and I am going away with a medal so I couldn’t be happier.
Muhammad Ali put injury behind him to walk away from the Youth Olympic Games with a bronze medal around his neck.
Just over a month before Ali was due to fly out to Nanjing for the second summer Youth Olympic Games, disaster struck when he was cut above his left eye in training.
But Ali wasn’t about to throw in the towel saw off Indian challenger Gaurav Solanki by unanimous decision to take home bronze.
“The bronze means everything to me because training has not been great because I got a cut eye about five or six weeks ago,” Ali said.
“That meant that I stopped sparring early so this tournament was the first time I was back in the ring for more than a month and my fitness was no where near to what it normally is and neither was my timing but I still got a medal so I am over the moon.
“Obviously I have not been sparring so I have had to do more running, more bag work, more pads to make up for the sparring and I am really happy to get a bronze.”
However Viddal Riley couldn’t follow suit as he was on the wrong end of a split decision against Armenian Narek Manasyan.
“I am gutted, I had two chances to medal and didn’t get one,” Riley said. “I fought my hardest but I just didn’t do enough.
“I started off well and applied a bit of pressure. I then threw a lot of punches in the last round to take it from him but you can’t argue with the decision.
“My corner was telling me to throw punches, just keep throwing punches and try and challenge him. I threw what I could but it just wasn’t my day.”
© Sportsbeat 2014