GWENT Olympic boxer Lauren Price’s appetite for hard work made her stand out from the crowd from an early age, her former kick boxing instructor has said.

The 27-year-old, from Ystrad Mynach, narrowly beat old rival the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn to reach the Olympic women’s middleweight final on Friday morning to get herself into the final against China’s Li Qian.

Price is guaranteed a medal but Robert Taylor, head of Devils Martial Arts in Blackwood, Wales, is convinced it will be the gold.

Mr Taylor began coaching Price from the age of seven and told the PA news agency that she had not struck him as anything special at first.

“But she had such an appetite for work and working hard, and obviously her skills started to develop and then she started to become more successful,” he said.

“She was training three or four times a week plus football and it was inevitable that with her hard work and her appetite for it that she was going to do well.”

As well as her success in the boxing ring, Price is a four-time youth world kickboxing champion and has 52 caps for Wales as a footballer.

She opted to chase her dream of Olympic boxing glory over her promising club football career with Cardiff City after winning bronze at the 2016 European Championships.

Price once joked her high pain threshold helped her stick to her gruelling training regime across kickboxing, boxing and football.

Mr Taylor said: “She does have quite a high pain threshold – she is very tough.

“There’s lots of attributes that makes her stand out – her movement, her skill for punching, her physical ability in the ring, she’s tough.”

Mr Taylor said he was not disappointed when Price picked boxing over kickboxing, saying: “At some point they’ve got to spread their wings and find their way, and you know we all love her at the club and we all wish her all the best in whatever she does.”

When asked if he thought Price could bring home the gold, he said: “I think she can, her opponent is tall, she’s rangy and that seems to suit (Price’s) movement, so I think she can do it.”

Following her victory over Fontijn, Price said: “I am into the final now and it is a dream come true. I am not stopping now – my aim is to win that gold. I am going to give it my all.”