AFTER suffering Tokyo torment in 2021, Gwent boxer Rosie Eccles has earned the chance to go for gold at the Paris Olympics next year.

The 26-year-old, who won light-middleweight gold at the Commonwealth Games last year after winning silver in 2018, has progressed into the last four of the European Games in Poland and sealed qualification for France next year.

She beat Ireland’s world and European champion Amy Broadhurst 3-2 with a split decision in the welterweight quarter-finals on Wednesday afternoon.

The success means that Eccles, whose journey as a fighter began in Caldicot and continued with Chepstow and Pontypool ABCs, will head for Paris.

The achievement is made extra special after her bid for Tokyo was scuppered by illness and the coronavirus pandemic.

Eccles said: "I've got no words. I just thought after everything that's happened, it was too good to happen to me.

"I kept coming back, grinding away. When you want something so bad it just feels impossible.

"Amy is one of the people I admire more than anyone in the boxing world. She's been through some rough patches like me and honestly I wish that was the final."

She will now aim to follow in the footsteps of former sparring partner Lauren Price, the 29-year-old from Ystrad Mynach who won gold in 2021 before turning professional.

“Everybody knows about the heartbreak I suffered at the last qualifying event, so to say it means everything to me is an understatement," Eccles said before heading to Poland.

“It feels like the Olympics is etched into my skin. It’s my reason to be."

Eccles dramatically rallied from conceding the first round to Broadhurst.

The skilled Irish southpaw countered Eccles with well-placed right hooks but the Gwent 66kg-fighter powered forward with high volume attacks to slam her right cross through.

They finished working desperately hard and it was Eccles who took a split decision win.

It was an impressive win as Broadhurst, as well as being a gold medallist at the Commonwealths for Northern Ireland, also won world and European gold medals in the weight class below.

Eccles beat 2019 European Games silver medallist Assunta Canfora 4-1 in the last 16.

She faces Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli in the semi-finals on Friday (1.15pm) with the other fight being between Belgium's Oshin Derieuw and Hungary's Anna Luca Hamori.