|Chantelle Cameron, het engels talent in de -60 kg en o.a. deelneemster aan Round Robben in Arnhem vorige maand|
|geplaatst op 28 mei 2011|
Chantelle Cameron: Britain can medal at every weight at the Olympics
In the latest of our London 2012 boxing series, a Q&A with Chantelle Cameron, who this weekend will fight in the EU Championships
Chantelle Cameron from Northampton is the newest member of the Great Britain women's boxing squad after a whirlwind start to her career that has seen her go from novice to potential Olympian in less than 18 months.
An international kickboxer, 20-year-old Chantelle tried boxing to improve her hand speed. She had her first bout in November 2009 and defeated a far more experienced opponent within two rounds. She decided to apply for her boxing card and entered the 2010 National Senior Amateur Boxing Association Championships where she won the 64kg category at her first attempt.
In June 2010, Chantelle announced herself on the international stage by landing a silver medal in the EU Championship in Hungary. She was selected to represent England in the Women's World Amateur Championships in Barbados in September 2010 where she made the quarter finals at 64Kg and caught the eye of Britain's performance director, Rob McCracken. She was rewarded with a place in the GB squad in February 2011 in the 60kg Olympic weight category alongside Natasha Jonas, Ruth Raper and Amanda Coulson (the other Olympic weight categories are 51kg and 75kg).
Most recently, Chantelle defeated Sweden's world championship bronze medallist, Klara Svensson in Haninge, Sweden. Despite her inexperience, Chantelle is one of Britain's most exciting female boxing prospects and has won 20 of her 22 bouts. This weekend she will be joined by fellow Olympic squad members, Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall at the EU Championships in Poland where she will compete in the 60kg category and hopes to improve on the silver medal she won at last year's event.
When and where did you start boxing and why?
One-and-a-half years ago. I did kickboxing for nine years and competed in it for two. I started boxing as part of my training programme to try and improve my hand speed and pretty quickly realised I preferred boxing so decided to stuck with it.
Is there a history of boxing in your family?
My granddad boxed when he was in the army.
What other sports are you good at and were you ever tempted to stick with them rather than boxing?
I was good at most sports but never had the urge to push myself or compete until I tried kickboxing and then boxing.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
My mum and dad for the support they have given me.
What is the toughest part of your sport and how do you cope with that?
The fact you just cannot eat what you want. I don't have a big problem making the weight but I do miss being able to have something like a Chinese takeaway whenever I fancy it.
Describe your typical diet
We are fortunate in the GB squad as we have a full-time nutritionist from the English Institute of Sport who works with us. He monitors our diet and provides advice and education on what we can eat and what we need to do to stay within our weight range, particularly at tournaments when we need to make the weight every day. On a normal day I will have cereal and fruit for breakfast, pasta for lunch and some chicken and salad in the evening. I'm not that keen on the salad, but I love chicken!
Who are your main rivals from other countries?
Russia and China are both strong and have strength in depth. That said, the best female boxer in the world at my weight is Katie Taylor from Ireland.
How would you describe your boxing style?
I am an attacking boxer. I like to impose myself and get on top of my opponents.
You have only been on the Olympic programme for three months; what have been the biggest changes from your previous training routine?
I have learnt loads. It is great to be part of a structured, organised elite programme. The coaches are top class and I have also benefitted from having daily access to the sports science and medical team from provided by the EIS. They work with us every day and have particularly helped me to improve my strength and conditioning. The hardest part of being part of the programme is being away from home, but I can't complain as it is a brilliant opportunity to be a full-time athlete.
How have you improved since joining the Olympic programme?
My technique has got better and the coaches are teaching me the importance of using my head and thinking my way through a bout. My overall fitness and conditioning has also improved.
What has the last 18 months been like to go from a novice boxer to an Olympic hopeful?
It has gone so fast I am not sure I have taken it in. One minute I was having my first bout, three months later I was the English champion and three months after that, I made the last eight at the world championships. I just want to keep improving and who knows what might happen?
Who are the jokers in the squad?
Nicola Adams is very funny. Savannah Marshall doesn't say much but when she speaks it is usually worth the wait!
What do you do to relax away from training?
Hang out with friends and shopping.
What music do you listen to?
All sorts – except classic rock! At the moment I am listening to Rhianna, Vybz Kartel and Gyptian.
Floyd Mayweather is a great talent. I think Mike Tyson was the last truly great heavyweight and Sugar Ray Leonard was pure class.
Who is the most promising amateur boxer in the country?
Nicola Adams is the best female boxer. From the guys, I would probably pick Khalid Yafai.
How many medals do you think Britain can win at the 2012 Olympics?
As many as possible. We have some great boxers. On our day, we have the potential to win a medal at every weight.
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