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  Rio 2016: French toast!

Rio 2016: French toast!

AFP
Published : Aug 21, 2016, 1:03 am IST
Updated : Aug 21, 2016, 1:03 am IST

Estelle Mossely celebrated her 24th birthday in style by punching her way into the history books as she became the first Frenchwoman to win Olympic boxing gold on Friday.

Estelle Mossely celebrated her 24th birthday in style by punching her way into the history books as she became the first Frenchwoman to win Olympic boxing gold on Friday.

Mossely also saw her fiance Tony Yoka battle into the men's super-heavyweight final less than an hour earlier and the pair plan to soon marry — making it a particularly special 2016 for France’s latest heroine.

France is enjoying its best Olympics in boxing with the possibility of two more gold to come at the weekend for Yoka and Sarah Ourahmoune.

Yoka was watching from the stands, still in the red vest he had fought in and with a white towel around his neck. He wiped away tears as Mossely edged a nervy split-points decision 2-1 over China’s Yin Junhua in their lightweight clash.

He then joined in as a small but vocal contingent of French staff and fans serenaded Mossely with “happy birthday”.

She said that gold made her feel “complete”.

“It’s a lovely birthday present. It is a beautiful birthday present and it is fitting after all of these years of training and studying,” she said.

“I am very, very honoured to have won this gold medal and to be the first woman to win for France.”

Mossely is now desperate to see Yoka complete a perfect Games for the lovebirds.

“We have two parts of a contract and he has the second part in his hands. What can I say It’s just good for us.”

Mossely grabbed the initiative from the first bell but was down on the judges' scorecards and in danger of seeing her birthday ruined.

“I spoke to my coach and he said, ‘You’ve trained hard for this, you’re setting a good pace, you have good cardio,’ and he urged me on,” she said.

“So from there it was just all instinct, trying to give more and more and more. And it worked.”

Mossely was the deserved winner having been the aggressor in the opening exchanges and to the very end of the bout against Yin, who was in fits of tears later when she collected her silver medal.

Mossely had eased into the final without breaking sweat after Russia's Anastasiia Beliakova dislocated her left elbow in the first round of their semi-final on Wednesday. The Russian was rushed out of the arena in tears and in a wheelchair, but returned to pick up her bronze on the podium, her arm in a sling and getting a huge ovation.

Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro