Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Commonwealth Games: Weaver won't accept anything but gold

Ferndown  fighter Iain Weaver believes he has already won the psychological battle at the Commonwealth Games – but insists he will finish the job off in the ring and leave Delhi clutching gold.

 The 20-year-old star has been in impressive form in his first full year with the Great Britain squad, winning silver at the June European Championships and the Commonwealth Feds, and gold in the Prime Ministry tournament in Turkey.

And while the surroundings of Delhi might be alien to some, Weaver is back in India having won gold in his last two outings there – at the March Commonwealth Feds and the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.

But the former Ferndown Upper School pupil insists he is not done in India just yet and believes the gold medal is his to lose.

Weaver, who kicks off his Games bantamweight campaign with a bout against Vusie Simelane of Swaziland tomorrow, said: “This season has been brilliant I’m on top of my game and it will be great if I can finish it all off with gold at the Commonwealths.

“In my weight the field is quite strong but most of them I have fought and beat before so that will give me the edge when we step in the ring.

“I’ve been to India a couple of times before and have done well but this time is much better because we’re in an athlete’s village and have our own cooks.

“That bodes well for more success because when I’m well looked after outside the ring I can focus better on my game inside the ring.

“Anything less than gold will be a disappointment but I fully expect to medal. I won’t accept anything but that gold right now.”

Even though the Games will be a big notch on the belt of the Golden Ring boxer, Weaver has already set his sights on following in the footsteps of James DeGale by winning gold at London 2012.

“The London Olympics is not far off now but I’m just trying to stay at the top of my game until then,” he added.

“It’ll be superb to fight in front of the home fans and qualification starts next year so hopefully I can head into 2011 as Commonwealth champion and really give myself a boost.

“You see a lot of people like DeGale and Amir Khan make their names from the Olympics and I want to do the same – and my journey starts with the Commonwealth Games.”

• Lloyds TSB Local Heroes is an initiative in partnership with SportsAid providing support and funding to over 270 of Britain’s most talented developing |athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond.

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