Shelley Watts has been announced as Australia’s newest 2016 Australian Olympic Team member at the AIS at Canberra.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist secured qualification by finishing second at the Asia/Oceania Qualifiers in China earlier this month, which she said was a weight lifted off her shoulders.
“Relief was prominent emotion I felt after won my semi-final and qualified for Rio,” said the 27-year-old.
“I’ve put in so much work so all I felt was relived.”
Watts is leading the way for Australia’s female boxers, proving in 2014 that she can truly make it with the best in the world after she claimed Commonwealth Games gold.
The 60kg boxer recently chalked up her seven-fight undefeated but then lost the final match at the qualifiers, which she said has made her more determined to stand only at the top of the dais.
She said her unorthodox style can help her get there.
“My style is different, especially among the top 10 boxers in the world. I like to shake it up.”
Watts’ entry into the sport can be traced back to a severe sporting injury. In 2009 she thought she might never play sport again after she tore were ACL on the football pitch. She went into the boxing ring for rehabilitation and has never looked back.
Now all she can think about is putting on her Olympic uniform for the first time.
“Thinking about the Olympic blazer puts the biggest smile on my face.”
After the Australian Olympic Committee launched the Sportscraft Opening Ceremony uniform earlier this month, Watts used the peppermint green striped blazer as inspiration.
“I visualised myself wearing my Olympic blazer before I stepped into the ring for my semi-final.”
Watts knows there’s more hard work to come, but she’s excited to sit down with her coach and plan the next few months before the Games.
“In the next 17 weeks I want to leave nothing in the tank.”
Watts is also passionate about proving to Australia that boxing is a gender equal sport and isn’t quite as ferocious as most might think.
“I want to prove that boxing is not a violent or aggressive sport and I hope to be a positive influence for women in sport.”