Mum-of-three hailed as Olympic dream is step closer to reality
- Credit: Archant
The road to Tokyo has become even closer for an aspiring Olympian.
Boxer Charley Davison, from Lowestoft, will have the opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games after being selected to compete at the Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying event in London next month.
The mother-of-three was selected in the 13-person GB Boxing team that will box for Great Britain at the prestigious tournament as more than 350 boxers from over 40 countries compete for 77 places at Tokyo 2020.
With GB announcing the eight men and five women that have been selected for the Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, from March 14, Charley has secured the flyweight (51kg) spot that she has worked tirelessly for.
And now her sights are set on securing a place in the Olympics.
Coached by John Cremin and Frank Bacon in Lowestoft since she was eight, Charley boxes for Attleborough BC but she still trains regularly on Lowestoft beach and at her main base of Nirvana Health and Fitness on the south Lowestoft industrial estate.
After returning to international boxing with victory at her first international bout in eight years at the England vs Germany contest in October last year, the 26-year-old mother-of-three admitted she was "absolutely thrilled" to have been selected.
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Speaking exclusively from her base with the women's podium squad at GB Boxing's headquarters at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, Charley said: "It is still so surreal.
"I was told on Friday by GB Boxing's Performance Director, Rob McCracken, on the train back from Sheffield.
"He said how well I had done in America , that they were really pleased with me and I had been selected for the qualifiers - it was a bit of a shock.
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"It has sunk in a bit now, and I know this is something I've trained for."
The mum to "three amazing children" - aged seven, five and three - admits they are her motivation. She said: "It is brilliant to be selected, now I know there will be six weeks hard work to prepare for the qualifiers. The training will be tough, but I am ready and it will be worth it all in the end."
GB Boxing's Performance Director, Rob McCracken, said: "Caroline and Charley have not been in the squad long but they have a lot of talent and have done enough to the impress the coaches and I, and earn this opportunity to qualify for Toyko."
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'A massive achievement'
Charley has been coached by John Cremin and Frank Bacon in Lowestoft since she was eight years old.
Hailing her selection for the qualifiers, Mr Cremin said: "Its fantastic.
"What a massive achievement it is for her as a mum-of-three.
"People perhaps write women off once they become a parent, but Charley has proved them wrong.
"If you believe you can do it, you can do what you want.
"Charley has proved you can achieve it."
Having coached Anthony Ogogo for many years as he progressed to eventually medal at the Olympics and become a professional boxer, Mr Cremin is hoping the town will soon boast two Olympians.
He said: "What Charley has done is massive.
"She has proved she is the best - so much better than anything in this country - now she has to prove she is the best in Europe and the world.
"If she qualifies there is no reason she can't get a postbox in her hometown in gold.
"To potentially have two Olympians from Lowestoft, ahead of all the major cities, is incredible."
Dreams closer to reality
As a teenager Charlie Davison was an undefeated European boxing champion and a world silver medallist.
After a six-year break from boxing and having had three children, she returned in stunning style - to win a senior England Boxing title and belt at -54kg.
And now the 26-year-old flyweight (51kg), from Lowestoft, is dreaming of Tokyo after being selected to box for GB at the Olympic qualifiers next month.
A GB Boxing spokesman said: "Charley Davison officially joined the GB Boxing squad in January 2020 after impressing at a series of assessments in the latter part of 2019.
"The 26-year-old is a mum-of-three and only returned to the ring in the last 18 months after a six-year break from boxing to bring up her children."
With three wins likely to seal a semi-final spot and fulfil the Olympic dream, Charley said: "Now I've got the chance, I have to take it.
"It would mean so much to make Olympics - it's everything I've dreamed of.
"It is really, really close now and I do not want to let it go.
"I am really looking forward to it. The hard work starts now to get the job done."
Coach John Cremin added: "Charley has a great set up behind her allowing her to concentrate on what she can do.
"After six years off from boxing, it has been an 18-month to two-year programme to get where we are now.
"We told her 'you can do 51kg and nick that Olympic spot' - it has paid off, and now we're so close."