Marlon Nkuni admitted even he was surprised at his victory.
VICTORIA boxer Marlon Nkuni admitted he had to pinch himself in amazement after claiming gold at the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.
The 20-year-old was at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge on Friday as the great and the good of university sport battled it out.
And Nkuni found himself going toe-to-toe with Mohammed Patel from University College London for the men’s U71kg title.
Former Westminster City School pupil Nkuni’s journey ended at the quarter-final stage last year but this time around there was no stopping him as he claimed the title.
And despite putting in the hours of training after last year’s premature exit, Nkuni admitted he had surprised even himself as he climbed the top step of the podium.
“It feels great to be a champion, I’m just happy to see all my work hard click into place,” he said. “I’ve never won anything, I’ve never been in a final before – I’m buzzing.
“Last year I got to the quarter-finals but I just got my head down and stuck at it.
“I knew I had to dig deep, I saw he was taller than me and had more reach so I had to get inside and work hard.
“I started boxing two or three years ago. I hadn’t had many bouts, but as soon as I found out they had boxing at the university I got involved.
“I had a couple of bouts at my club at home called Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club but I’ve come up here and loved it. And I’m so happy to have won.”
And while Nkuni is the first to admit that he never expected to be heading home with the gold around his neck, his Sheffield heroics have given him a new lease of life as he bids to take boxing as far as he can.
“I’m definitely going to keep boxing beyond university, I’ve really enjoyed it these last few years and I think I am constantly improving,” he added.
“I’ll see where my degree takes me first but I love it too much to give up – especially after this.”
Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals. BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration – visit: www.bucs.org.uk/gatorade
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