Caroline Dubois is through to the last 16 of the female lightweight category at the Tokyo Olympics. The 20-year-old southpaw from Greenwich was a unanimous 5-0 points winner over Kosovo’s Donjeta Sadiku. All five judges scored it 30-27.
Dubois will face American Rashida Ellis in the early hours of Friday with a quarter-final spot up for grabs.
Ellis, 26, has won bronze at the 2019 World Championships and Pan American Games.
Dubois sealed her spot at the Olympics after picking up two victories at a European qualifying event in June – the vital one being over Finland’s Mira Potkonen. She went on to claim silver, losing to Ireland’s Kellie Harrington in the final.
Dubois, the younger sister of professional heavyweight prospect Daniel, started boxing at the age of nine at Repton before moving to Dale Youth.
“If I get in the ring and perform, I beat anyone,” said Dubois.
She told The Guardian: “If I’d lost to Potkonen I would not have been on the plane to Tokyo. So there was a lot of pressure and Potkonen, at 39, is almost twice my age with huge experience.
“I couldn’t be sure I would handle the situation – even if I believe I can beat every woman in the world who fights at my weight. I’ve got the talent so I would have been devastated if I had allowed my Olympic dream to crumble.
“It sounds crazy but I pretended that I had brought my 11-year-old self to ringside so she could watch me. I fought my heart out so I would not let down that little girl who had such a beautiful dream. She would get up at six in the morning to run before school because she dreamed of being a boxer. That little girl carried the dream that had been lit inside her at London 2012.
“In Tokyo, I want to make my 11-year-old self even more proud of me. I am going to imagine she is ringside again as I make another of her dreams come true by winning an Olympic medal.”
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