Sky's the limit for Marshall

19 May 2012 / 14:11

Savannah Marshall has been told she can reign at the top of her sport for years to come after being crowned Great Britain's first women's boxing world champion in Qinhuangdao, China on Saturday.

Great Britain performance director Rob McCracken hailed Marshall's 17-15 win over Elena Vystropova of Azerbaijan and insisted: "As long as she continues to work hard, Savannah can achieve anything she wants in the sport."

Marshall's historic middleweight victory came on her 21st birthday, and means the Hartlepool fighter will now head towards the London Olympics as one of the favourites to claim a gold medal.

Clearly overwhelmed by her achievement, Marshall said: "It's been an amazing week and to come away as world champion and with a place at the Olympics is pretty incredible.

"It's great to go one better than last time (world silver in 2010) and now I am just looking forward to the Olympics, and making sure I am in the best possible shape to be successful in London."

Marshall's win completed a highly-successful tournament for the women's team, with her team-mates Nicola Adams and Natasha Jonas also doing enough to book Olympic places at flyweight and lightweight respectively.

Earlier, Adams had missed the chance to pip Marshall to the historic honour of being Britain's first female gold medallist when she was beaten 14-10 by China's world number one Ren Cancan.

Adams, who lost to the same fighter two years ago, said: "I wanted the gold today and sadly it was not to be, though overall I have to be happy with my week. The Olympics are the big prize, and I hope to go one step further in London."

As well as bronze for Jonas, Lancashire's Lisa Whiteside made it a total of four medals for the British team as she was awarded her bronze medal in the featherweight category, which is not an Olympic weight.

Ireland's Katie Taylor won her fourth consecutive gold medal and underlined her status as Olympic favourite as she beat Jonas' conqueror Sofia Ochigava of Russia 11-7 to take the lightweight crown.

Taylor, who pulled away after being level at the halfway stage, said: "I'm delighted with the win. It was always going to be a game of patience and I caught her with some clean shots in the third round."