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Yardley reels at Olympic blow for Frankie Gavin

MANY people had tipped Frankie Gavin to win a gold medal at this month's Olympic Games, but last week came the bitter news that the local boxer had been forced to withdraw from the competition.

MANY people had tipped Frankie Gavin to win a gold medal at this month's Olympic Games, but last week came the bitter news that the local boxer had been forced to withdraw from the competition.

The Yardley fighter failed to lose enough weight to compete in the lightweight band and arrived back in the UK on Friday.

Twenty-two-year-old Gavin needed to get below the 60kg limit but wasn't able to do it before last week's weigh-in.

Birmingham's Archway Academy has welcomed the boxer on a number of occasions and had raised £500 to help him on his journey to Beijing. The former Archbishop Ilsley pupil had last called in at the Bordsley Green school last month to meet with pupils.

Yesterday, Principal Jim Ryan paid tribute to "a local champion" and said that pupils from both Birmingham and Solihull were disappointed by last week's news.

"What's very sad I think is that the young people haven't had the opportunity to support their champion

"It was a pleasure and a honour to be able to sponsor Frankie and it's just a shame that things haven't turned out the way we all hoped."

Mr Ryan, also a Solihull councillor, said that he'd been convinced that the boxer would triumph in Beijing.

"Britain is a boxing nation and here at last was someone who could compete against the Americans, Russians and Cubans at an amateur level.

"That's why it's so sad for Britain, Birmingham and the local area that he won't have the chance to go for a gold medal. All young people need inspiration and Frankie, growing up in the same area, has been able to give them that."

British hopes of a boxing medal now fall on the shoulders of seven other fighters including James DeGale and Billy Joe.

 

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