LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Nicola Adams became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title by bullying her way to victory over China’s number one seed Ren Cancan, taking the flyweight gold on Thursday in front of a thrilled home crowd.
Adams easily recorded a 16-7 win in the final at the ExCel arena in south east London as she dominated the three-times world champion from start to finish, recording a rare knock down in the second round.
The Briton shadow boxed in each corner of the ring with delight after her name was read out as the winner following the exciting four two minutes rounds.
“It is a dream come true. I am so happy and overwhelmed with joy right now. I have wanted this all my life and I have done it,” a beaming Adams told reporters, who could not believe she scored a knockdown.
“I didn’t see that coming, but it happened. I was just thinking of becoming Olympic champion. The feeling is absolutely amazing.”
The noisy crowd, including British royalty in the form of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, roared in delight as Adams dominated the early exchanges to open up 4-2 lead after the first round.
Adams evaded the jabs of Ren to land clever shots and get in the face of her opponent, who had impressed at the Games with her ability to fight at a distance with her rangy jab.
Adams then landed a left followed by a massive right hand halfway through the second round to dump Ren flat on her back on the canvas to give the Briton a 9-4 lead at the bell.
The blow unsettled Ren who tried to mix it with Adams rather than use the boxing artistry that had taken her to her world titles and built her reputation as one of the finest women boxers.
Adams continued to land shots in the third as she ducked her way past Ren’s weakening jab to land flurries of punches with both hands to take the third 5-1 and a 14-5 lead.
Ren looked out of ideas in the final round as Adams stayed out of trouble to ease to victory in a country where women could not get a license to box 15 years ago.
Ren was not downbeat following the loss, embracing the historic moment for the sport.
“I am very happy,” she told reporters. “It was a very special moment.”
Losing semi-finalists Mary Kom of India and American Marlen Esparez took bronze.
Reporting by Patrick Johnston; editing by Toby Davis/Greg Stutchbury