WORLD champion boxer Lauren Price insists she is “staying positive” despite the disappointment of seeing her Olympic dreams put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

Price had been due to get her Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying campaign under way on Tuesday, but the London event was suspended the previous day after briefly going behind closed doors.

With the virus taking its toll on other sport, Ystrad Mynach middleweight Price, 25, was surprised that the 11-day tournament got the green light to start last Saturday.

There was enough time before the event was stopped for British duo Galal Yafai and Peter McGrail to book their Olympic places, while Caldicot’s Rosie Eccles fell at the first hurdle on Sunday.

Reacting to the situation, Price said: “I thought I would be going back home having booked my place on the plane to Tokyo to become an Olympian.

“Obviously I’m disappointed because I’m in such a good place.

“I was confident, preparations had gone to plan, and I’m probably feeling the best I’ve ever felt.

“I was so close to fighting, but it’s just one of those things that can’t be helped.

“I’m staying positive about it.

“I’m sure I’ll be back there before too long and, when that time comes, I’ll be ready to get the job done.

“The opportunity will come around again, hopefully sooner rather than later.”

She added: “They are saying the qualifiers could start again in May, so the plan is to go back into camp next week.

“Hopefully we’ll have a definite date within the next couple of days, but then things are changing every day.

“The organisers of the Olympics have said Tokyo is still on, and I think there’s enough time to hold these qualifiers.”

Giving her take on the decision to start the event given the spread of the virus, she said: “I was surprised that it went ahead.

“I thought if there was a chance it was going to be called off then they wouldn’t have started it.

“But, as soon as it started, I thought we would get through it.

“When the first meeting was called, I imagined they would just try and ram it all in and I would have been boxing every day.

“It was out of the organisers’ hands at the end of the day.

“It went behind closed doors and I thought it was going to be okay, but you had some governments closing their borders, and if people from those countries didn’t leave London then they wouldn’t have been able to get back in.

“People don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country and not be able to get home.

“I would rather be back home if it was being held abroad.

“Boxing is my life, but it’s not everything.

“There is a lot more to life and you need to be sensible about the whole situation.”