15 Jun 2012

First women boxers named by NZ

12:12 am on 15 June 2012

Two New Zealand boxers have been named as the first women to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games in London.

Lightweight Alexis Pritchard, 27, and flyweight Siona Fernandes, 29, were named by the New Zealand Olympic Committee on Thursday, after cementing their spots at the women's world amateur championships in China in May.

Their selection to the Olympic team followed a series of strong international performances over the past year.

Pritchard is from South Africa and has been in New Zealand for 12 years. She works as a physiotherapist and has been boxing since 2003.

Fernandes only took up the sport in 2010. She moved to New Zealand from India five years ago and is also a classical Indian dancer with a bachelor's degree in performing arts and a master's in psychology.

Boxing has been in the Olympic Games for 116 years. Women will compete in the sport for the first time at the London Games which begin in July.