Olympic boxing: Nicola Adams among eight British qualifiers for Rio 2016

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Nicola Adams celebrates Olympic qualification for Rio 2016

Olympic champion Nicola Adams led the way as eight British boxers earned places at this summer's Rio Games with wins at the European qualifying event.

Adams outpointed Norway's Marielle Hansen in Turkey to secure a women's flyweight (48-51kg) spot in Rio.

Compatriots Galal Yafai, Qais Ashfaq, Muhammad Ali, Joe Cordina, Josh Buatsi, Lawrence Okolie and Joe Joyce also secured places with semi-final wins.

Anthony Fowler could make it nine qualifiers on Saturday.

Ireland's Olympic champion Katie Taylor missed out on a chance to guarantee her Rio berth as she lost her lightweight (60kg) semi-final against Yana Alekseevna.

Birmingham's Yafai (men's light-flyweight 46-49kg) beat Spain's Samuel Carmona Heredia, Ashfaq from Leeds (men's bantamweight 56kg) saw off Ukraine's Mykola Butsenko, Keighley's Ali (men's flyweight 52kg) overcame Bulgarian Daniel Asenov, and Cardiff's Cordina (men's lightweight 60kg) beat Ireland's David Joyce.

Londoners Buatsi, Okolie and Joyce made it through in the heavier categories.

Men's light heavyweight (81kg) Buatsi beat Ukraine's Oleksandr Khyzhniak, heavyweight (91kg) Okolie beat Azerbaijan's Abdulkadir Abdullayev, and super heavyweight (91kg+) Joyce beat Hungary's Istvan Bernath.

Liverpool middleweight (75kg) Fowler lost his semi-final but could qualify if he wins the bronze medal bout, with the top three men and top two women in each division winning places in Rio.

After the event in Samsun, male boxers have two more chances to qualify - at the World Series of Boxing event in Bulgaria in May and the final Olympic qualifying event in Azerbaijan in June.

The women have one more chance - at the World Championships in Kazakhstan in May.

'No longer the Road to Rio - I am going to Rio'

Adams became the first women's Olympic boxing champion when she won gold at London 2012, and she is now targeting another landmark.

Victory in Rio would make the 33-year-old from Leeds only the second British boxer to retain their Olympic title after middleweight Harry Mallin in 1924.

"It feels really good to know that I will be defending my title in Rio. It is no longer the Road to Rio - I am going to Rio," said Adams.

"I've qualified and I am ready to defend my title and hopefully become a double Olympic champion."

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