Olympics

'Go All The Way, Karriss!': Army Boxing Backs Soldier Artingstall For Olympic Gold

Gunner Karriss Artingstall secured at least a bronze medal after winning a tough fight against Australia's Skye Nicholson.

Soldier and Team GB boxer Karriss Artingstall has been told to "go all the way" by her colleague and Army boxing head coach.

The Royal Artillery fighter, 26, is the military's first female Olympic boxer and is now just two wins away from a gold medal at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

She's already guaranteed at least a bronze medal after reaching the semi-finals in the featherweight (57kg) competition.

Members of the Army boxing team watched on and celebrated in Aldershot as the boxer they know as 'Kaz the Bomber' beat Australia's Skye Nicholson in the last round to claim an historic victory.

Army boxing head coach, Sergeant James Allen, said the service have helped to polish Artingstall's potential, putting her on the path to GB glory.

"The Army characteristics, the courage, the mental toughness, the fitness, all that sort of stuff, that's what really matters," he said.

"When you've got those close bouts and it’s on the line and it’s literally who wants it more and that desire, that's when the Army's had an effect on Karriss and that's what's got her over the line."

Karriss Artingstall (red) fighting Skye Nicholson at Tokyo 2020 Olympics 280721 CREDIT XINHUA ALAMY
Artingstall has been told to "go all the way" after securing at least a bronze medal (Picture: Xinhua/Alamy).

He added: "Karriss alone has won world honours, she's won a European medal and now an Olympic medal.

"She's the only soldier at the Olympic Games and not only to be involved, but then to medal as well.

"And you know what, we're saying medal, she's guaranteed a bronze, she might go on to get a silver or gold, so go all the way, Karriss!"

Ben Stewart, the Army Technical Lead Coach, was brought in from GB Boxing to help enable Army boxers to reach the Great Britain team.

He said: "There's been a lot of work for a number of years going on behind the scenes for this, in terms of the hierarchy, the Army Elite Sport Programme... Kaz with her civilian club, being removed from mainstream school, coming through that.

"Through the support she's had through the Artillery, the dev [development] team onto here and then obviously the fantastic work over the last few years that GB boxing have been doing with Kaz.

"All that hard work's paid off.

"But first and foremost the hard work for the individual herself, Kaz, massive, massive achievement and everything she's put in, blood, sweat and tears, has finally paid off for her."

Artingstall will now face Japan's Sena Irie in the semi-final on Saturday.