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Lauren Price: 'Lockdown changed me as a person'

Price is now backing in training.

World boxing champion Lauren Price was ready to realise her ambition of reaching an Olympic Games when the coronavirus swept in to scupper her plans in March.

The 26-year-old was less than 24 hours away from fighting for her place in Tokyo at a qualifying tournament in London before organisers determined it too risky for the tournament to continue.

Instead of basking in the glory of another momentous moment in her career, Price headed for lockdown in her flat near the GB training base in Sheffield, with team-mate Kariss Artingstall for company.

Price told the PA news agency: "I was devastated at the time because I had put in so much hard work and we were in a great place as a team, both physically and mentally.

"But you can either dwell on it or take it as a positive. Athletes live a selfish life, being away all the time doing what we love – definitely boxing is my life but it opens your eyes when you can't see your family."

Price, who is now back training in a social-distancing environment in the GB gym, will be one of the favourites at the delayed Tokyo Games after clinching her first world title in Russia in October last year.

2018 Commonwealth Games – Day Ten
Lauren Price, right, in action at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast (Danny Lawson/PA)

And she is determined to use the enforced delay to wipe away her frustrations and emulate two-time champion Nicola Adams by standing on top of an Olympic podium.

"The last couple of years have been a bit mad," added Price. "It's good to be back but I think it's done us all good to have a break as well. I think in the long run it will do us a lot of good.

"We have no idea when we're going to box again and it is a struggle sometimes to get motivated, but I look at the bigger picture and it gives me another year to improve."

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