Brazil's Adriana Araujo, who assured herself of at least a bronze medal in the women's Olympic boxing competition with a win here Monday, is a frustrated soccer player who 12 years ago started boxing as a way of keeping fit.
"I wasn't going to be a boxer, my sport was soccer, but one day I started doing boxing to lose weight and I'm still at it," the 31-year-old native of Bahia said Monday.
Araujo showed versatility and precision in her punches while beating Morocco's Mahjouba Oubtil 16-12 and assuring herself a bronze medal in the women's lightweight class, which she will try to upgrade in the upcoming semifinal bout against world No. 2 Sofya Ochigava.
"It will be a tough challenge, but they're all that way because we're out to win medals," Araujo said. "I feel like I'm in good shape and winning gold isn't impossible."
Though the boxing tourney began July 28, female boxers did not step into the ring until last Friday and faced their second bouts less than 24 hours later.
"That was rough - I had to fight when I was tired, but I've been waiting 12 years to box in the Olympic Games and now I'm happy with the medal, though I'm going after more," Araujo said.
Arms covered with tattoos, Adriana is a fighter who commands respect in the ring, but outside it was very friendly and thankful for the chance to win the first women's Olympic boxing medal in the history of Latin America.
"This is an honor but I'm going after more. It's not impossible for me to win gold," said the Brazilian, the only Latino woman boxer still surviving in the 2012 London Olympic Games. EFE