COMMONWEALTH Games silver medallist Rosie Eccles has taken the next step in her pursuit of a place at the Olympics after being picked for the GB Boxing Podium Potential Squad.

Eccles was selected on the back of an assessment which took place following last month’s European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The 21-year-old from Chepstow joins Pontypool ABC stablemate Lauren Price and fellow Welsh fighters Sammy Lee and Mickey McDonagh at the Sheffield set-up on August 1.

She will spend four days a week in Yorkshire and continue juggling boxing with her university studies and job at Welsh Triathlon.

Boxers from the GB Boxing Podium Squad and Podium Potential Squad, overseen by performance director Rob McCracken, have an outstanding record of medalling at major championships.

And Eccles is hoping that with extra funding and a step up in sparring, she can realise her dream of becoming an Olympian when Tokyo hosts the Games in 2020.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me and I’m really excited about the next two years,” she said.

“My main competition for making the Olympic team would be Sandy Ryan, who beat me in the Commonwealth Games final.

“A lot of people were debating which way the verdict in that fight should have gone.

“The difference between me and her in terms of what resources were available was massive.

“I thought I had the best coaching team, however, I don’t have the same sparring opportunities or funding as her.

“But things will be more even over the next few years and I feel I can develop more with more funding and resources.”

She added: “Getting to the Olympics is the ultimate dream.

“I’ve got my first World Championships in November and if I can medal there then I’ll feel I can qualify for the Olympics.”

Eccles’ hopes of going to Japan were boosted in June when it was announced that her 69kg class was to be added to the Tokyo 2020 women’s boxing schedule.

There were 10 weights for men and three for women in Rio two years ago.

However, Tokyo will see five for women with featherweight (57kg) and welterweight (69kg) joining middleweight (75kg), lightweight (60kg) and flyweight (51kg).

The weights transferred from the men’s classes have not been confirmed as yet.