By Tom Degun

Natasha Jonas_China_World_Championships_May_2012May 17 - Britain's Nicola Adams and Natasha Jonas have made history by booking their spots at London 2012, the first time ever that female boxing will appear at the Olympic Games, following superb performances at the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Women's World Boxing Championships in China.

Jonas, the 27-year-old lightweight (60kg) from Liverpool, was first to claim her Olympic berth in the city of Qinhuangdao as she cruised to 23-9 quarter-final victory over overmatched opponent Ingrid Egner of Norway to secure at least a bronze medal.

The southpaw fighter started in superb fashion as a couple of lovely shots in the first round gave her a 2-0 lead and when the Norwegian came forward in the second round, Jonas picked her off superbly on the counter to take an almost unassailable 16-5 lead heading into the last, which she comfortably saw out by taking a further seven points.

"It's has been such a tough journey to get to this point and to have finally qualified is the most amazing feeling," said Jonas.

"To compete in the Olympic Games is my dream and I am just so relieved to have secured both my place at London and a medal in these Championships."

Adams, the reigning European champion, quickly followed Jonas to book her London 2012 spot with a superb but narrow 13-11 win against over India's multiple world champion Mery Kom, the narrow favourite heading into the bout.

In a cagey flyweight (51kg) quarter-final bout, the 29-year-old from Leeds used her greater size and reach to build her lead over the course of the contest and head into the final round with a 10-8 lead.

An epic final round that saw Kom look to trade blows ultimately saw Adams keep the gap a two points to secure at least a bronze medal with a spot in the semi-final and more importantly a place at the Olympic Games.

Nicola Adams_fighting_at_World_Championships_in_China
"That was such a tense contest against one of the legends of women's boxing so to have beaten Mery Kom and secure a place in the Olympics at the same time is absolutely brilliant," said Adams (pictured in blue), who is twice a World Championship silver medallist.

"This win has given me a huge confidence boost and the challenge now is to keep my concentration and ensure I go as far as I can in this tournament."

There was further good news for Britain in the third and final Olympic weight category of middleweight (75kg) as Savannah Marshall also made it to the semi-final with a superb 20-8 win over home favourite Li Jinzi of China to secure at least a bronze medal.

It means Britain are guaranteed at least three bronze medals from the event but unlike Jonas and Adams, Marshall has not yet guaranteed Olympic qualification because all four semi-finalists are from Europe and only three European boxers automatically qualify at this tournament.

The 20-year-old from Hartlepool will need to win her semi-final to make absolutely sure of her spot with the fourth European place to be decided by an AIBA Tri-partite Commission in June.

But Marshall will be in confident mood after dominating her Chinese opponent throughout to take a 12 point win.

"To have secured two Olympic places and be guaranteed three medals is a fantastic achievement," said GB Boxing's performance director Rob McCracken.

"All three of the women boxed fantastically and I am delighted for Natasha and Nicola."

McCracken admits he is now hoping to see Marshall join Jonas and Adams at the Olympics with a semi-final win.

"Savannah has boxed superbly this week in an extremely tough draw," he said.

"The aim now is to ensure that everyone stays focused and that we do all we can to ensure Savannah qualifies and that all of the boxers go as far as they can in this tournament."

AIBA have also revealed that both the semi-finals and the finals of the competition will be broadcast live online here

The semi-finals will take place tomorrow with the afternoon session taking place at 14:00 local time and the evening session at 18:00 local time.

Meanwhile the finals will be live on Saturday (May 19) at 14:00 local time.

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