Three women will make Commonwealth
Games history just by being in Glasgow this year
Photo/Harris on Facebook
May 29, 2014
Kristy Harris, Shelley Watts and Kaye Scott are among the 11
boxers named in the Australian team today by the Australian
Commonwealth Games Association. Women’s boxing will be contested
for the first time in Games’ history in Glasgow.
*Press release from the Australian
Commonwealth Games Association regarding the Australian boxers
selected to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut with Australia sending
only one athlete to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Glasgow 2014
will offer women the opportunity to contest medals in three
weight categories – 51kg, 60kg and 75kg.
“We welcome the inclusion of women for the first time into a
sport with a long tradition at the Commonwealth Games,” ACGA
Chief Executive Officer Perry Crosswhite said. “Boxing has been
contested at every Empire and Commonwealth Games since the first
“We hope for success in Glasgow. Australia’s boxers have always
made a strong contribution to our medal tally.”
Boxing Australia named its team of eight men and three women for
Glasgow after its 2014 Australian championships in Perth in
April. The winners of each weight division were eligible for
Limited to nominating 11 boxers from 13 weight categories (10
men, three women), Boxing Australia faced a tough decision. It
decided to nominate competitors in all three women’s categories,
meaning two of the 10 men’s national champions could not be
Shelley Watts, who will fight in the 60kg division, won the
female boxer of the tournament at the 2014 Australian
championships. The 26-year-old comes from the mid-North Coast
NSW town of Laurieton, just south of Port Macquarie, and trains
at a Penrith gymnasium. She is studying law and wants to become
a criminal barrister.
Geelong-based Harris, 21, will fight in the 51kg division and
Hornsby’s Scott, who will turn 30 just before the Games, will
represent in the 75kg.
BA chief executive officer Kable Kelleway believes the three
women have an equal chance of doing well in Glasgow.
“They’re all at relatively the same level,” says Kelleway, “so
it will all come down to their draw.”
The men nominated include a relative of Socceroos star Tim
Cahill, and a boxer mentored by the original coach of former
world boxing champion Danny Green.
Jai Opetaia became the youngest fighter ever to represent
Australia at an Olympic Games in London 2012. Then 17 years old,
he was desperately close to claiming an upset defeat of the
ultimate bronze medallist, Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan. From
the NSW Central Coast, he will turn 19 just before the
Opetaia is of Samoan-Australian background and won a junior
world championship in 2011 as a light-heavyweight. He is related
to Socceroos legend Tim Cahill and will fight in the 91kg
Daniel Lewis, a gold medallist at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth
Games, has been named in the 69kg division.
Jordan Samardali was the male boxer of the tournament at the
2014 Australian championships. He is coached by Patrick
Devellerez, the original coach of Australian boxing great Danny
Samardali will contest the 81kg division in Glasgow.
Jackson Woods and Nick Cooney are both from the powerful Latrobe
Boxing Club in Tasmania, where they are coached by Woods’ uncle,
Woods will fight in the 56kg division, Cooney in the 60kg.
Woods defeated Melbourne’s Jason Moloney to win the national
title, breaking up the twin brother Jason and Andrew Moloney
combination who had both represented Australia in Delhi four
Andrew Moloney returns for his second Commonwealth Games in the
The remaining boxers in the team are Mark Lucas (75kg) and
Queensland’s Joseph Goodall (91+kg).
Boxing, along with athletics and swimming, is one of the three
sports to have been contested at every edition of the
Empire/Commonwealth Games. After winning six medals (two gold,
four bronze) in Melbourne in 2006, Australia failed to take a
medal in Delhi.
Boxing events in Glasgow will be contested at the Scottish
Exhibition and Conference Centre Precinct with preliminaries on
25-30 July, semi-finals on 1 August and finals on 2 August.
The Australian boxing team for the Commonwealth Games:
Kristy Harris – 51kg
Shelley Watts – 60kg
Kaye Scott – 75kg
Andrew Moloney – 52kg
Jackson Woods – 56kg
Nick Cooney – 60kg
Daniel Lewis – 69kg
Mark Lucas – 75kg
Jordan Samardali – 81kg
Jai Opetaia – 91kg
Joseph Goodall – 91+kg
Head Coach – Kevin Smith
Assistant coach – Don Abnett
Section Manager – Allan Nicholson
NATIONAL | BOXING