Gold hunt is life of Riley on Youth Olympics bid

18:00 14 August 2014

West Hams top light-heavyweight prospect Vidal Riley (left) has flown out to China for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing  Pic: Chris Bevan Photography

West Hams top light-heavyweight prospect Vidal Riley (left) has flown out to China for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing Pic: Chris Bevan Photography UK and IBIZA

Hammers hopeful jets off to China

Viddal Riley, the talented 17-year-old West Ham boxer, flew out to Nanjing, China at the weekend looking to strike gold at the Youth Olympics Games.

The 81kg light-heavyweight,already recognised as one of the top prospects in Great Britain, told me: “I will be out there doing my best – but I am definitely going for gold.”

Riley’s best has been good enough to win the West Hammer seven national awards to date as well as make a big impact on the international scene.

In November, he won a silver medal at the European Youth Championships in Anapa, Russia – only eight months after returning from a two-year break from the sport caused by an injury suffered in a playground accident.

He lost the European final on a controversial verdict to Russian rival Dmitriy Marutkin, after he had eliminated difficult opponents from the likes of Ukraine, Albania and Georgia.

Riley also won three of his four bouts at the World Championships staged in Sofia, Bulgaria in April, losing only on a split verdict to Norway’s Vegar Tregren.

He eliminated Poland’s Rafal Staszewski in the battle to qualify for the Youth Olympics and the articulate sports science student at the City and Islington College is under no illusion about the task in the competition which gets underway this coming weekend.

“Standards will certainly be high with the best youngsters in the world in action,” said Riley.

“I may get a return against Tregren, and I would like a chance to reverse that decision,” added the prospect, who is coached at the West Ham club’s Plaistow gym by Mick Driscoll.

Riley, a talented boxer with a powerful punch, has also been tipped to continue Great Britain’s success in the ring and make a bid for a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But the fighter himself has his doubts, adding: “It would be fantastic to go to Rio, but getting on to the GB senior squad and qualifying in less than two years is a tough task.”

That dream is for the future, but for the present Riley will only be concentrating on adding to his growing medal collection in China as the world’s top teenagers go on parade at the 2014 Youth Olympics, with the boxing starting Saturday week (August 23).


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 17:53
Action from the latest indoor cricket league matches at UEL

Latest news from indoor cricket league

Yesterday, 16:00
Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic Simon O'Connor).

The O’s head coach looks ahead to London derby and praises Brisbane Road supporters

Ian Hendon
Yesterday, 12:00
Leyton Orient captain Mathieu Baudry points to his black armband in memory of those that lost their lives in Paris on November 13 (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Frenchman discusses Wimbledon clash, Cole Kpekawa and performance at Plymouth

Mark Noble of West Ham  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic confirms one of Pedro Obiang or Alex Song will start on Saturday against West Brom.

Mark Noble

Most read sport


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder