EBBW Vale boxer Ashley Brace saw her Glasgow 2014 dream shattered yesterday – but she won’t give it up without a fight.
The 22-year-old was named as one of the first three female boxers ever to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games back in May.
But this weekend the Amateur International Boxing Association dropped a bombshell by declaring that Brace was ineligible to compete in Glasgow due to her kickboxing background.
Brian Davies, Chef de Mission of Team Wales, said yesterday: “It is with great disappointment that we can confirm boxer Ashley Brace will no longer compete for Team Wales at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“AIBA have taken the decision to refuse approval for her accreditation due to her previous involvement at the 2013 Unified Kickboxing World Championships which makes her ineligible to compete.
“The Welsh Boxing Association has contacted AIBA to clarify this decision and accepts their ruling.
“Ashley is a fantastic young athlete with bags of potential and both Welsh Boxing and the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales are saddened that she now won’t have the opportunity to compete at the Games in just two weeks-time.”
Simon Weaver, Brace’s coach at the Torfaen Warriors Amateur Boxing Club in Cwmbran, says the youngster is ‘devastated’ by the news but he insists they will appeal the decision.
“Ashley was a kickboxer and that’s never been a secret,” said Weaver.
“There is a rule that says you can’t go from being a professional kickboxer to an amateur boxer but she was never a pro.
“She competed against pros at the world championships but she was never a pro.
“We’ve done everything by the book and someone has complained or got the wrong end of the stick so we’re hoping this can be sorted out as soon as possible.”
Weaver organised a fundraising event for Brace’s Glasgow trip in Croesyceiliog on Sunday, which was attended by Wales teammate Fred Evans and professional champion Lee Selby.
“We had a great day and raised around £500 but she’s devastated with this news,” he added.
“She’s given up six months of her life for this and to have it snatched away at the last minute would be heartbreaking.
“Her parents have got tickets and booked hotels in Glasgow as well so we’re really hoping that we can appeal and get this decision reversed.
“She competed at the Strandja Cup, which is an AIBA event, earlier this year so why this is a problem now is a mystery.”
Brace was hoping to take on Olympic champion Nicola Adams in the 51kg category in Glasgow and was hopeful of winning a medal.
She told the Argus last month: “I’m really excited. I can’t wait now. I’m wishing the days away until we get there, to be honest.
“And I’m going for a medal. I wouldn’t be going otherwise.”