Natasha Gale handed her shot at Commonwealth Games medal glory in Australia

Australia bound: Team England boxer Natasha Gale. (Picture: Andrew Roe)

LEEDS’ European champion Natasha Gale has been named as one of 12 boxers set to represent England at April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Gale, 29, will compete in the 75kg women’s category in her bid to emulate the feat of fellow Leeds boxing star Nicola Adams who went on to win gold in the women’s flyweight division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow having also become European champion by taking gold three years earlier in Rotterdam.

Leeds fighter Conor Loftus has missed out to Luke McCormack in the men’s 64kg category while Luke’s twin brother and Rio 2016 Olympian Pat McCormack has been selected in the 69kg category over Bradford’s Harris Akbar.

The England team also includes 2014 flyweight world championship silver medalist and 2016 European Championship bronze medalist Lisa Whiteside who will bid for glory in the women’s 51kg event.

Commonwealth Games boxing medals have helped to launch the career of some of England’s best ever boxers including Adams, Richie Woodhall and James DeGale.

Team leader, Darren Chapple, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve announced a strong team of 12 athletes.

Leeds fighter Nicola Adams celebrates winning gold in Glasgow

“This team has two Olympians and a wealth of experience between them however for the majority of the team this will be their first taste of the Commonwealth Games.”

“I know that they are all excited and they are all going to be focused on performing at their best. We know there will be tough competition during the Games especially with strong teams from our other home Nations like Scotland, Wales and Ireland and not forgetting of course our host nation Australia too who will have a huge home following.”

Team England Chef de Mission, Sarah Winckless, added: “English boxing is in an extremely strong position and to be able to welcome 12 boxers to the team this week give me great pleasure. The women’s side of the sport goes from strength to strength and I look forward to working with our four talented female athletes. Our male team is also strong and notably contains two brothers, Pat and Luke McCormack, and two Olympians alongside 10 debutants. It is an exciting mix and one I look forward to supporting at the Games.”

As part of its plans to send the best prepared team to the Gold Coast, Commonwealth Games England will hold a 10-day preparation camp in Brisbane, create a dedicated performance centre inside the Commonwealth Games Village, and offer a full programme of support services.

The women’s side of the sport goes from strength to strength and I look forward to working with our four talented female athletes.

Team England Chef de Mission, Sarah Winckless.

Team England’s preparation camp for the Gold Coast will include a number of specially selected high-performance sports and support facilities that will enable athletes to continue training and complete their final preparations prior to entering the Commonwealth Games Village. The performance centre will be at the heart of Team England’s headquarters inside the Games Village.

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