Silver lining for Lisa

Whiteside with her 'silver medal
Whiteside with her 'silver medal
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Preston’s Lisa Whiteside secured a silver medal for England at the AIBA Women’s World Championships in Jeju Island, South Korea, after a series of fantastic performances.

Boxing in her first major tournament as a flyweight, Whiteside, 29, put in a series of superb performances to the final, where she narrowly lost a split decision to Marlen Esparaza of the USA.

Her achievement was equalled by 21-year-old rookie Sandy Ryan, who made the final of the light-welterweight category in her first major tournament as a senior, only losing out in the end to Anastasia Beliakova from Russia.

Whiteside said: “I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all right now.

“It feels phenomenal to have won a silver medal and have reached the world championship final. I am looking forward to pushing on from this performance next year as I know that I have so much more to give and can still improve.

“As always I would like to thank everyone for their support and believing in me.

“The coaches and support team have been incredible and have helped me every step of the way.

“I feel like I have a second family in them.”

Great Britain’s performance director Rob McCracken said: “To make the final of a tournament as difficult as the world championships is an outstanding achievement by both Lisa and Sandy, who have been absolutely superb this week.

“They fully deserve their rewards after a series of excellent performances. They have shown that we are beginning to develop some real strength-in-depth in the women’s squad and have new boxers coming through to challenge the more established names.

“We have always known that Lisa was a top boxer because of her achievements as a featherweight, where she was a World Championship bronze medallist in 2012.

“But she has now shown she is a world class performer in the Olympic flyweight class.

“Sandy has performed absolutely superbly.

“She is a great talent and, like Lisa, has now shown that she can translate that into results at a major tournament. The challenge now is for the pair of them to build on their achievements this week.”