Setting sights on gold in Rio

July 21, 2016
By Qais Ashfaq, Great Britain’s number one bantamweight boxer
Setting sights on gold in Rio
“If he can do it, you can do it,” my coach said to me.
The first time I saw Amir Khan, I was 11 and he was 17. Amir had just secured his spot for the 2004 Athens Olympics as the only boxer on the GB Team.
Twelve years later, Amir’s picture is hanging on the wall in the gym at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield where I train and I’ve qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics along with 11 other GB Boxing squad members.
We’re good friends now and he gives me a lot of support and advice. It’s amazing that over a decade ago, Amir had the same dream that I’ve got now. But I want to be better than him and go one step further than silver. I want to win that gold medal.
Having just missed out on London 2012, Rio means so much to me. I have worked so hard to get there over the last four years. I feel I’m ready to perform on the big stage now.
Winning gold would be amazing and what dreams are made of. It’s all I’ve wanted since I first started boxing at eight years old.
Training has been going really well and we’re lucky enough to have some of the best coaches and training facilities in the world in Sheffield, as part of the Olympic Legacy Park. I’m feeling good and building my own name now with the judges and referees.
It’s amazing to think we’re just over two weeks away from the Games. A group of four of us have just come back from in Iasi City, Romania where we took part in the Golden Belt tournament. It was one of the last times we’ll compete before Rio.
If everything goes to plan between now and Brazil, I’ll be fully fit and in the best shape of my life ready to win the Olympic gold medal.
As long as I keep doing what I’m doing, then I know for a fact I can achieve what I want.

I’m confident I can fulfil the dream I’ve had since that day my coach told me I could be an Olympian.