Sheffield boxing gym needs new wall for all these Olympians - Nick Westby

For the members of the Team GB boxing squad at these or any Olympic Games for that matter, this nation’s history is inescapable.

Britain's Lauren Price, left, is punched Netherlands' Nouchka Fontlijn during their women's middleweight 75-kg emifinal. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)

The pictures on the walls of the GB boxing headquarters at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield never let you forget.

For peering down upon the rings and the punchbags are the faces of Britain’s past Olympic champions and medallists.

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Alan Minter in 1972. Richie Woodhall in 1988. Audley Harrison in 2000. Amir Khan in 2004. Yorkshire’s own Nicola Adams and Luke Campbell in 2012.

Hull's Luke Campbell at the EIS in Sheffield before putting his picture on the wall at London 2012 (PIcture: Simon Hulme)

On each occasion, an Olympic medal of any colour was a springboard to instant fame and future fortune in the professional ranks.

That was almost a guarantee, such was relative paucity of our new Olympic heroes every four years.

Those pictures that stare down can either intimidate or inspire. To the Team GB boxers at Tokyo in 2020 they have proven inspirational.

Of the 12 men and women that went to the Far East, GB have produced six new Olympic medallists.

Great Britain's Frazer Clarke celebrates bronze after a cut stops the fight in the Men's Super Heavy (+91kg) boxing at Kokugikan Arena on the twelfth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

None of them are gold yet but there are two more chances this weekend; Galal Yafai faces Carlo Paalam of the Phillipines in the men’s flyweight final on Saturday at 6am and Lauren Price faces Qian Li of China in the women’s middleweight division on Sunday at 6.45am UK time.

With two silver medals guaranteed, GB’s haul of six medals at Tokyo 2020 is their best at a Games since Antwerp a century ago.

Those pictures on the walls in Sheffield have been trailblazers for these new medallists, none more so than Leeds’s Adams who won gold in London and Rio, opening the door for the likes of Price to continue the success story that is women’s Olympic boxing.

Price, 27, rose to the occasion in her semi-final with her great rival Nouchka Fontijn on Friday, winning the bout on a split decision.

She celebrated with a roar of delight before switching her focus to Li who beat Zenfira Magomedalieva of the Russian Olympic Committee in the second semi-final, and whom she has never faced.

“It has been a dream of mine to get to the Olympic Games, to become an Olympian, and to get a medal, I can’t quite believe it,” said Price. “I am into the final now and I am not stopping now – my aim is to win that gold. I am going to give it my all.”

She has the chance to win the gold that eluded team-mate and heavyweight Ben Whittaker, who was still distraught at his defeat in the gold medal bout that he put his silver medal in his pocket at the ceremony.

“I was fighting for everybody at home and I felt like a failure,” said Whittaker. “At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal round my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country.”

Pat McCormack was another to fall short in his men’s welterweight final against Roniel Iglesias.

Frazer Clarke was overcome with positive emotion as he took a bronze in the super-heavyweight category after twice being overlooked for selection in 2012 and 2016.

Karriss Artingstall also won bronze in the women’s flyweight.

Boxers from all across Britain who for four days a week congregate in the GB boxing gym at the EIS in Sheffield to hone their Olympic-medal winning craft.

That gym in Sheffield is going to need another wall to hang half a dozen new pictures.