GWENT Olympic boxer Lauren Price’s biggest fan is her 91-year-old grandma – but she gets so nervous before her fights that she rarely watches, her aunt has revealed.

Alison Morris said their whole family is “very close” and they felt sick with nerves before the boxer – who remained ice-cool – clinched victory in the middleweight semi-finals at Tokyo.

The 27-year-old narrowly beat old rival Nouchka Fontijn, of the Netherlands, on Friday morning and will fight China’s Li Qian for the gold medal on Sunday.

Ms Morris watched alone from her home in Blackwood, because she said her mother Linda Jones, who is Price’s biggest cheerleader and texts her “inspirational messages” every day, was too nervous to watch.

She added that Price’s 94-year-old grandfather was recovering well from a pelvis fracture following a fall, and other relatives were also supporting him.


Ms Morris, 44, said: “I get really nervous myself, my stomach churns and everything, and that’s usually a day or two before.

“My mum doesn’t watch because she just gets too worked up – she shakes, she feels sick. She doesn’t want to start watching now in case she jinxes it.

“We’re all very close, but my mum always texts her inspirational messages every day, saying she can’t believe she got this far.

“As soon as it finished, I got straight on the phone to her – I was like ‘Oh my God mum, she’s won, she’s won’. She started crying.”

Ms Morris added that while the rest of the family grappled with their nerves, Price remained unruffled following the fight, and will be watching Love Island in the evening to wind down.

Her aunt said: “She was very relaxed after the fight, as always. She’s obviously very excited to achieve the silver and go forward for the gold.

“She said she was tired and she was going to watch something – I think it might have been Love Island.”

Ms Morris said the family are still “on pins” ahead of Price’s final fight on Sunday, but they “know she can do it”.

Price’s former kickboxing coach Robert Taylor, head of Devils Martial Arts in Blackwood, Wales, is also convinced she will claim 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, she was going to do well.”

Asked if he thinks 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.”

As well as her success in the 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.

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.”

Meanwhile, Kate French, Britain’s Olympic champion in modern pentathlon, has been congratulated by the university where she studied and trained.

The 30-year-old, from Kent, finished fifth in Rio in 2016 and was considered a strong medal prospect having won gold at the World Cup final earlier this year.

Stephen Baddeley, director of sport at the University of Bath, said: “What an incredible achievement from Kate, we are all so proud of her and she really deserves this moment.

“Kate has been part of the University of Bath family for a decade now, when she arrived to combine training with Pentathlon GB at their National Performance Centre with studying sports performance.

“We have seen her talent blossom over those years thanks to her relentless hard work and dedication to her sport. Congratulations, Kate!

“It is an eighth gold medal won by University of Bath-based sportspeople at these Games and we look forward to seeing how Joe Choong and Jamie Cooke fare in the men’s final on Saturday.”

French studied sports performance at the university.