Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside has her sights set on more success on the European stage this weekend.
The 31-year-old flew out to Cascia, Italy, yesterday as part of the GB squad which will contest the European Union Championships.
A past winner of the tournament in the 54kg weight category in 2013, Whiteside will fight at the Olympic weight of 51kg in Italy.
A good showing over the course of the tournament will add further weight to her selection claims for next year’s Commonwealth Games, on the Gold Coast, in Australia.
“I won this competition four years but that was at 54kg,” Whiteside said.
“I am fighting at 51kg this time which is good.
“I am the No.1 at that weight in the country after winning the national title for the seventh time a few months ago.
“I’m really looking forward to it. This competition is going to be great preparation for the Commonwealth Games, which are going to be starting in April of next year.”
As a past winner of the competition and a former World Championship silver medal winner, Whiteside will be viewed as one of the favourites in Italy but she is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s different,” the JR Gym ace said. “A lot of the girls have changed. You can’t underestimate anybody.
“There will some decent girls who will be there.
“I think the Polish girl Sandra Drabik is probably going to be one of my biggest threats. But there’s no pressure. I am just going to go out there and enjoy it. My fitness is good – I am 100% fit and injury free for once.”
Whiteside has spent the past few weeks on training camps in Germany and France where she was able to spar against boxers from the host countries as well as fighters from Russia and Sweden.
“I’ve had some great sparring out in Germany and France – they were multi-national training camps,” she said.
“I’ve had a good preperation and as a team, we are going out to Italy a few days early to acclimatise because it’s meant to be very hot out there.”