West Australian boxer Caitlin Parker says her middleweight bronze at the Youth Olympics had made her determined to win gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
It’s considered a brutal sport, but West Australian boxer Caitlin Parker couldn’t be prouder of the middleweight bronze she won at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
The 18-year-old has already set her sights on becoming the first female boxer from Australia to win Olympic gold.
Parker received her bronze medal in the 69-75kg category on Tuesday alongside gold medallist Elzbieta Wojcik, from Poland, as Chen Nien-Chin from Chinese Taipei took silver.
Parker won her bronze medal bout 3-0 against Ireland’s Christina Desmond a day earlier but had to wait until after the last fight to be presented with her prize.
Coach Mark Wilson said there’s not much between Parker and the gold medallist.
“I think she could have won gold,” he said.
“She was boxing for gold.”
The Queensland-based coach says he believes the 18-year-old is on track to become Australia’s first female Olympic boxing champion.
“If she stays focused and committed to the sport, and gets the development she requires – she can get there,” said Wilson.
Parker says her Youth Olympic bronze has made her hungrier for gold at the senior level.
“Every competition just wants to make me do it again and again,” she said.
“When you win, you just want to have that feeling over and over again and try to get as far as you can.”
The middleweight says she hopes to see more girls get involved in boxing, which she has been doing since the age of 11.
“Everyone thinks it’s all brutal, but it’s not,” said Parker.
“It’s way less intense than rugby or footy or anything else like that.”
The International Boxing Association’s new scoring system that replaces the computerised punch-count system with a timer that shifts the focus to technical skills is also set to change the way boxers fight.
“It’s a system that actually encourages boxers to basically stay and fight,” said Wilson.
“A lot of boxers – once they knew they were in front – they just ran and moved a lot more, and it sometimes made a boring fight.
“Now everyone fights to the final bell.”