TERRI Harper insists her European Championship silver medal is only the beginning of her international boxing career.
The Denaby teenager returned from Poland last weekend clutching a silver medal from the European Women’s Youth and Junior Championships, her debut event representing her country.
Now – inspired by Olympic gold medal winner Nicola Adams – Harper is determined to secure a golden future and cement her place among the top up-and-coming British female fighters.
She told the Times: “It was an amazing experience travelling with the team and I definitely want to do it regularly.
“I wanted to go straight back as soon as I got home, I enjoyed it that much.
“It was an amazing chance to test myself against the best in Europe and I’m pleased with how well I did.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t win gold but it’s made me more determined to win it in the future.
“Women’s boxing is getting bigger and bigger and there are lots of things open to us now and I want to be a part of that.”
The 16-year-old admitted that nerves got the better of her in the final against Marii Potorokina and prevented her from giving her usual relaxed performance.
She said: “I’d seen the Russian girl earlier in the week and got myself a bit worked up about facing her.
“At first I though I’d be fighting someone else in the final but when I saw it was her it threw me off a lot.
“I don’t know what it was really but I was very nervous and I was nearly crying in the changing room before the fight.
“When I got out there I realised that she wasn’t anywhere near as good as I thought she was.
“I really think I could have beaten her if I’d have had more confidence in myself and pushed from the start.
“It’s something I’m going to learn from, something I’ve got to learn from.
“It’s not about who my opponent is, it’s about how I deal with them and what I do.”
Harper produced a mature performance to guarantee a bronze medal with a 13-4 win over Hungary fighter Daniella Posta.
Demonstrating superior skills, Harper controlled the bout from the off.
She then put on what was lauded as the performance of the tournament to beat Poland’s Grazyna Grygiel 22-13 for a place in the final.
Harper took Grygiel apart throughout the bout and threatened a stoppage with several big shots.
The De Warenne Academy pupil suffered a 13-10 defeat to Potorokina of Russia in the final.
The Russian edged the first round 3-2, forcing Harper to up her game in the second using the roll and counterhook.
But Potorokina led by three heading into the final round.
Harper produced a superb effort in the third but very good countering from the Russian saw her safeguard her lead for the gold.
Three time national champion Harper is now gearing up for the National Female ABAE Championships in mid-December.
Harper is a member of Mexborough’s Ernie Oxer School of Boxing.
Oxer coach Paul Durose was delighted with her performance.
He said: “We just can’t believe how well she has done on her first time out.
“We’ve been saying for a long time that Terri is going to go all the way and I think she’s showed a lot of people that this week.
“She’s been waiting to get through that door for England and she’s definitely through it now.
“This is only the beginning for her and we couldn’t be more proud.”