COLCHESTER boxer Lewis Richardson says he is ready to seize any opportunity that comes his way after being named as a first reserve for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 qualifiers.

The talented 22-year-old middleweight narrowly missed out on making GB Boxing’s 13-strong team for next month’s Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena, on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The tournament, which takes place between March 14-24, will see ten boxers from England and three from Wales among 350 boxers from more than 40 countries compete for 77 places, at this summer’s Games.

And although Richardson, who is part of the GB Boxing Podium Squad in Sheffield, did not claim the middleweight spot for the first qualifier, there may still be opportunities for him to grab a coveted place at the Games.

A World Qualification Event, open only to those boxers who have not yet qualified for the Games, will take place in May.

Richardson said: “I’m in a pretty good position – middleweight is an open division and there’s no one person out in front.

“I feel that the progression and development is there to see.

“It’s a case of me carrying on doing what I’ve been doing and see what happens.

“I have one eye on Tokyo and the other on developing myself as a person and as an athlete.

“If I can continue that, it’s exciting to see where I’ll be in 12 months’ time.”

It has been a good few months for Richardson, who represented Team GB in an Olympic test event in Tokyo at the end of last year.

“It’s been a good start to 2020 for me,” said Richardson, who was crowned Colchester Sports Personality of the Year last year.

“I had a very good end to last year and the feedback I’ve had from the coaches has been really good.

“It’s been a really good last six months or so and I really feel like I have developed well.

“I feel good and if last told me anything, it was to focus on myself.”

Richardson has recently returned from a ten-day training camp in Kazakhstan, when he took part in gym bouts against some of the world’s best boxers.

He added: “Kazakhstan are one of the best nations in the world for amateur boxing.

“It was a very good experience for me to go out there and take part in it.

“It was mainly sparring and I came back feeling really fresh.”

Richardson is backed by his sponsors Datum Group, Maldon Demolition, Highwoods Health Clinic, Baccus and Jak Finch Hair and has thanked them for all of their support.