Galal Yafai completes arduous journey to win GB’s first Tokyo boxing gold

  • Thread starter Tumaini Carayol at Kokukigan Arena
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Tumaini Carayol at Kokukigan Arena

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  • Early dominance over Philippines’ Carlo Paalam secures title
  • ‘I’m Olympic champion now, it sounds crazy,’ says Briton

If ever there was a measure of how well Galal Yafai had managed the most important, pressure-filled moment of his career so far, it came in the immediate seconds after the third round of his final bout. He had played his hand so perfectly, dominant in the opening two rounds and then calm in the last, that as soon as it was over he already knew. Everyone knew. Yafai walked back to his corner with a rare, beaming smile across his face: “Oh, mate,” he said. “Wow.”

Moments later, what every single inhabitant of the sparsely populated Ryogoku Kokukigan already knew was confirmed. Yafai is the Olympic champion, victor in the flyweight division after a wonderfully crafted performance to see off Carlo Paalam of the Philippines. He is Great Britain’s first boxing gold medalist in Tokyo in a tournament that has produced the country’s highest total of Olympic medals in the sport – six – since Antwerp 1920.

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