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  • Writer's pictureDexter Hastings

Galal Win Gold

Galal Win Gold

Team GB's and Birmingham's Galal Yafai has won the gold medal in the men's flyweight final after beating the Philippines' Carlo Paalam at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Birmingham boxer put down his opponent in the first round with a cracking straight left and kept going to edged a highly competitive contest to secure the verdict.

This ended a stunning run of form for the 28-year-old, who was competing in his second Olympics having lost his second bout at Rio 2016.

All five of the judges gave Paalam the last round of the contest but Yafai had built up enough of a lead to secure the win on four of the five judges' cards.

Yafai told the BBC: "I have trained hard, given it everything. It shows if you do that you can get the rewards. I'm Olympic champion and I'm over the moon.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me, it's overwhelming."

The young fighter plans to take his time before deciding his boxing future, adding: "I'm going to chill and relax with my friends and think about the next chapter after."

Yafai followed his older brothers Kal and Gamal onto the GB Boxing programme and in Rio he became the family's second Olympian, losing to Cuba's eventual bronze medalist Joahnys Argilagos in his second fight.

Yafai came into his own in Tokyo, negotiating a tough route to the gold medal match, starting with a convincing stoppage win over Koryun Soghomonyan of Armenia in his preliminary bout.

He then had a close win over Zambian Patrick Chinyemba which provided a timely opportunity to refocus, and then Yafai reaped the benefit in his following bout when he beat Cuba's former world champion Yosbany Veitia.

With a medal was duly guaranteed, Yafai went one better with a fantastic performance in his semi-final against Kazakhstan's Saken BibossinovanH.

He then faced an opponent in Paalam with arguably an even more impressive path than his own, including a split decision win over Ireland's Brendan Irvine, plus a split decision victory over reigning Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov in a quarter-final bout that was abridged due to injuries.

He refused to go down without a fight, landing a left-hand in the dying seconds of the contest, but it was not enough to deny Yafai the victory.

Dexter’s Thought’s

What an amazing performance from Birmingham’s boxing royalty, he is the you gest out of the Yafai brothers but with this Olympic gold has achieved one of the biggest accolades in amateur boxing. At the age of 28 he is more than ready to run over to the professional ranks and I’m sure if he chooses to do so he has more than enough ability to emulate his brothers Gamal and Kal and become champions and continue the Yafai legacy. I really look forward to seeing Galal fight in the pro ranks if he chooses to turn over.


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