Frazer Clarke, one of the Telegraph Tokyo Eight, was among the 13 British boxers named on Wednesday
GB Boxing unveiled the eight men and five women who will compete at the Tokyo Olympic qualifier at the Copper Box in London in five weeks’ time with performance director Rob McCracken optimistic that “a good combination of experience and natural talent” will see the nation continue the success of eight medals at the last two Games.
That tally has included four gold medals, with GB Boxing having received £14.2 million of UK Sport funding between the Rio and Tokyo Games.
More than 350 boxers from over 40 countries will compete for 77 places at Tokyo 2020 at the Copper Box from March 14-24.
“The men are a capable and battle-hardened group that have gained a lot of experience on the international circuit over the course of this Olympic cycle and know what is required to be successful at the top level,” said McCracken at the EIS, Sheffield. “The women’s squad has made good progress in the last 18 months and in Lauren Price we have an established world class boxer.”
Frazer Clarke, 28, the most experienced member of the team having been with the GB Boxing squad for more than a decade, competes in the super-heavyweight category, which Team GB has had great success in at recent Olympics, with a gold medal for Anthony Joshua in 2012 and a silver medal won by Joe Joyce in Rio four years ago.
Clarke, one of The Telegraph Tokyo Eight whose progress will be covered over the coming months, said : “I’ve waited 10 years for this opportunity. Great Britain has a great tradition in my weight class and it’s my time now to carry it on and maintain that.
“Having the (qualifying) event in London will make it more special. We have a strong team and I am hopeful that we can do really well and see a lot of our men and women guarantee themselves a place at Tokyo 2020.”
The squad includes world amateur champion Lauren Price, Caroline Dubois – 19 year old sister of rising heavyweight star Daniel Dubois – and twins Luke and Pat McCormack.
McCracken believes GB can qualify a place in most of the weight classes, with the team needing to finish within the top four, or six, depending on the weight class.
Dubois has never boxed as a senior yet but has an outstanding pedigree as a youth and is undefeated in the boxing ring. She is the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year and in 2018 she won gold at the European Junior Championships, World Youth Championships and the Youth Olympic Games.
“The men and women had an excellent year in 2019, winning 16 medals at four majors so they are coming into the qualifier on the back of a good run of form,” explained McCracken, who also coaches Anthony Joshua. “Having the event in London is a great opportunity for the boxers and hopefully having the crowd on their side will inspire them to produce their best.”