BOXING team skipper Frazer Clarke showed he has not been affected by the longest wait of the Games with a superb opening super heavyweight win.
The Burton brawler recovered from a knife attack to finally make his first Olympics.
The 29-year-old was the last of Team GB’s 11-strong team in action.
But there was no ring-rust in sight as he outpowered and outpunchd Ukrainian Tsotne Rogava in the last-16 contest.
Four of the judges had Clarke in front from the off although his work did not find favour with the German official who went against his colleagues.
And with Rogava unable to come close to the last round stoppage he needed, Clarke, dubbed ‘The Eraser’, rubbed out any chances as he eased through.
He now faces a quarter final bout and a fight for a guaranteed medal on Sunday.
Clarke admitted last week that he almost lost patience when the Olympics was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And he says it was only his trainer Rob McCracken – who also works with Anthony Joshua – who convinced him not to turn pro early.
The fighter told ESPN: “At the time I reacted on emotion, I was angry that the coronavirus had hit at what was supposed to be my time.
“For a few weeks it really did get me down. I don't like to use the word depression because a lot of people go through a lot worse but my head was all over the place and the professionals seemed like the next best thing.
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“But then after sitting down and speaking to Rob McCracken, who has been my go-to for making boxing decisions, he explained to me that to turn professional and maybe fight once or twice is not going to do a lot for you.
“So I thought stick with what you know and follow your heart, your dream, and just be patient. I've been patient my whole career and patience is something I'm good at.
“Finally qualifying, I'm glad I made that decision to stay on.”
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