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Nicola Adams became the first female boxer to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals as she battled her way to the Women’s Flyweight title on Saturday afternoon by defeating France’s Sarah Ourahmoune. It was an exhausting final that brought the best out of both boxers, but Adams’ stronger start eventually proved decisive as she won a unanimous judges’ decision.

The defending champion had to overcome a resilient Tetyana Kob in her first bout of the Rio 2016 campaign, before meeting fellow London 2012 finalist Ren Cancan of China in the semis. After coming through that test, Adams clearly took some added confidence into the gold-medal match and started strongly, winning the first two rounds. Ourahmoune came back well in the third, but Adams had saved enough to edge the fourth and win a second successive Olympic gold.

“I felt like I’d put the work in over the years, listened to my coaches and did it on the day. The European, World and Olympic titles in one year, I’ve never had a year like it, it’s an amazing time. I want to thanks all my family and supporters, this is an incredible feeling. I focussed on the job in hand, I was relaxed and I just wanted to have fun out there. She was a good opponent and it was always going to be tough but I knew I’d done enough to win and come away with the medal,” said a thrilled Adams afterwards.

The Flyweight silver medal went to Sarah Ourahmoune of France, with Ren Cancan of China and Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia both winning bronze.