14 Jun 2012

Pair named as first-ever NZ Olympic women's boxers

1:33 pm on 14 June 2012

Two New Zealand boxers are set to make history as the first women to represent New Zealand in the sport at the Olympic Games.

The lightweight 27-year-old Alexis Pritchard and the 29-year-old flyweight Siona Fernandes were named by the New Zealand Olympic Committee today, after cementing their quota spots at last month's women's world amateur championships in China.

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

Pritchard hails originally from South Africa, has been in New Zealand for 12 years and works as a physiotherapist.

She's been boxing since 2003, while Fernandes only took up the sport two years ago. 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 a 116-year history at the Olympic Games and women will compete in the sport for the first time at London 2012.