Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside enjoys opening bout win in Australia
With world and European Championship medals to her name it is a wonder Lisa Whiteside has had to wait this long to make her debut at a major multi-sport games.
But debut she has and with just her first fight at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games she has already secured herself a bronze medal.
The flyweight took on India's Pinki Rani at Oxenford Studios in the 51kg quarter-finals on Wednesday evening and put in a display that many thought was more deserving that that split decision win it received.
By virtue of progressing into the semi-final Whiteside has earned herself at least a Commonwealth Games bronze medal to add to her world silver and bronzes.
But there is one thing missing from her collection - gold.
“Everybody's dream would be a gold medal, that's what I've come here for," sad the 32-year-old from Preston.
“When he said split decision, I've been there and had horrible decisions in the past and you start worrying.
"I was hitting with some hard backhands, left hooks, she never really bothered me. I felt in control, comfortable, so it was a bit of a shocker when he said split decision.”
Judges from Algeria, Wales and Uzbekistan gave the fight to Whiteside with officials from USA and Trinidad and Tobago judging Rani took the win.
Whiteside is no stranger to split decisions, she was awarded world silver in 2014 by the same method - a decision she was again confused by.
But for now, the fighter who for so long was overlooked in favour of Nicola Adams in the flyweight category, is just making the most of her Gold Coast experience.
"I still felt the enormity of it being here. I've been to world and Europeans but they don't get the coverage this does," she added.
“Even the countdown to the fight, I felt like I was going to start running! It's just fantastic and lovely to be around Team England.”
Elsewhere on the Gold Coast Natalie Haythornthwaite had a watching brief from the bench as England secured their progress to the netball semi-finals with another win.
Tracey Neville’s Roses won their first-ever clash with New Zealand at the Games by a commanding 54-45 scoreline yesterday.
It secures progress to the last four unbeaten and gives confidence that England could improve their best previous performance, bronze medals in 2006 and 2010, this weekend.
And there was success for Chloe Birch as the 22-year-old eased past Jersey’s Elise Dixon with a 21-2 21-5 win to make the badminton women's singles last 16.
Laura Massaro made progress on Wednesday as she finished second in Pool B of the women's squash doubles, alongside Sarah-Jane Perry, to progress to the knockout phase..
The duo lost an all-English encounter to Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters in the morning before bouncing back to defeat Scotland's Lisa Aitken and Alison Thomson 9-11 11-8 11-7
But there was disappointment for Felicity Pickard in the TT6-10 women’s singles table tennis as she lost 11-6 11-2 11-1 to Australia's Melissa Tapper in her second Group 1 encounter.
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