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Watts wants gold in boxing at Rio Games

  • Watts wants gold in boxing at Rio Games

    Australian boxer Shelley Watts' sole objective is to win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

Australian boxer Shelley Watts stood on the victory dais at the Olympic qualifiers and grimly thought "never again".

Even in the midst of the joy at securing her Rio berth, and despite missing the gold medal bout as a common-sense injury precaution, the silver medal was nowhere near good enough for Watts.

Australian team management decided to pull Watts out of last week's lightweight gold medal fight in China because of a sore right wrist.

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Watts has revealed the wrist was in a cast only 10 days before the qualifiers as she recovered from ligament damage.

So after she became Australian boxing's first confirmed Rio selection by winning her semi-final bout, Watts was rested as a precaution.

"Everything happens for a reason ... the one thing that I thought on that podium as I was watching the Australian flag go up in second place is 'I don't want to see that again'," she told AAP.

"I only want to see the Australian flag, standing on that podium, going up at No.1.

"So that was a great opportunity for me to start visualising what I want, which is obviously the gold medal at Rio."

Likewise, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist has disagreed with predictions of doom about how many boxers would qualify for Rio.

Here is an athlete who is going to the Olympics for a lot more than the tracksuit.

Two years ago, the qualifying process became much tougher for Australia.

Instead of going through Oceania, Australia's boxers have had to qualify through Asia.

There were fears no Australians would fight at these Olympics.

Instead, Watts, Daniel Lewis and Jason Whateley all secured Games berths at the China qualifying tournament.

"I knew it was going to be hard, but you know what? It's the Olympic Games," Watts said.

"It's supposed to be hard.

"I would much prefer to fight through Asia and to know that I deserve that spot, than to not deserve my spot."

While Watts was dissatisfied with silver last week, she is rapt to earn her first Olympic selection.

"It's a huge deal, it's hard to explain ... what I'm actually feeling, because I don't know if I know just yet," she said.

"When you get your hand raised and it all becomes worth it, I think relief is definitely something that I'm feeling.

"I just can't stop smiling."

Watts said her wrist injury is healing well.

She plans to compete at the women's world championships from May 19-27 in Kazakhstan before the lead-up to the Olympics.

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