Karriss Artingstall narrowly missed out on a place in the Olympic featherweight final as she was pipped on a 3-2 split decision in a fast-paced semi by Japan’s Sena Irie in Tokyo on Saturday. 

The Japanese favourite started at breakneck speed and impressed with her body work, and crisper blows in the opener. Every shot Irie threw was cheered by her countrymen in attendance as the livewire Japanese outhustled the Brit with her boundless energy and sharper work.

The Macclesfield southpaw pressed more effectively to take the second. But in the third both fighters poured their heart and soul into the deciding round. There was precious little to separate them. Irie looked more tired as the round progressed as Artingstall worked her over on the inside with body shots and stiff left hands. But the judges felt the home fighter had done enough to win the round and the fight.

Artingstall can certainly hold her head high and leaves Tokyo with a creditable bronze medal.

Earlier, Welsh wonder Lauren Price secured at least a bronze with a seamless 5-0 victory over Panama’s Atheyna Bylon in their middleweight quarter-final. Caerphilly’s Price became the first woman from Wales to win an Olympic boxing medal with the triumph.

Southpaw Price was assured throughout, countering effectively and riddling Bylon, a former World Amateur champion at welterweight, with neat one-twos. The win was sealed in the third when Bylon was deducted a point. 

Reigning World Amateur champion Price lost to Bylon six years ago, but is now at the top of her game and the woman to beat in Tokyo. She meets Dutch rival Nouchka Fontijn in the semi-final.

“I can’t put into words what it means to me,” Price told the BBC. “It was my dream since eight years of age to get to an Olympic Games. I never thought I would get here, let alone win a medal.”

Main image: PA images/Alamy.