Anthony Ogogo qualifies for the Olympics

LOWESTOFT has its very own Olympian after Anthony Ogogo qualified for the London Games this evening (Friday).

The 23-year-old battled against the odds to seal his place in the European Olympic Qualifying final in Trabzon, Turkey, defeating Belarus’ Vitali Bandarenka in the semi-finals, 14-7, and in turn sealed his Olympic place.

Ogogo underwent shoulder surgery at the end of October and was advised to take a six-month break post-surgery.

However, the middleweight was back in the gym in January, and won a Grand Prix event in the Czech Republic last month.

Victory for Ogogo never looked in any doubt as he dominated the 26-year-old Bandarenka from the start. Coming out aggressively early on, Ogogo led 4-1 after the first round.

A cagey second round, in which Ogogo was pushed to the floor on three occasions as the Belarus fighter seemed intent on holding on, saw the score reach 7-4 in Ogogo’s favour after it was shared three points apiece.

Knowing all he had to do was stay out of reach of the tough Belarussian, keep moving around the ring and pounce on his tiring opponent, Ogogo cantered to a 14-7 win - and victory sealed his place at this year’s Olympics.

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Ogogo’s delighted coach, John Cremin, speaking from Turkey, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic.

“Anthony has beaten a really tough Eastern European and dreams have now become reality.”

The final will be held tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon against Turkey’s home favourite Adem Kilicci.

Keep reading the East Anglian Daily Times for more reaction to Ogogo’s qualification.

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