Whiteside steps aside and sacrifices Tokyo aim
Flyweight boxer Lisa Whiteside's bid to reach the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has come to an end after her release from Britain's World Class Performance Programme.
The 33-year-old, who joined GB's elite ranks in 2012, recovered from a serious head accident outside the ring to claim gold at April's Commonwealth Games.
But since her triumph on the Gold Coast six months ago Whiteside has not been able to commit to enough training to keep her place on the programme.
She said: "I am sad to be leaving, but I know it is the right time and I am happy to depart as Commonwealth champion.
"Being on the programme and being part of the GB Boxing family for nearly six years has been an amazing, life-changing experience.
"What started as a hobby turned into a career as an elite athlete and I hope I have inspired others.
"I want to express my sincere thanks to my family and my club coach, Mick Day, and all of the coaches and support staff of GB Boxing, without whom I could not have achieved what I have.
"I would like to wish all the boxers the best of success in the coming months and years and for Tokyo 2020."
The Chorley-born fighter, who pulled out of the European Championships in May for 'personal reasons', will now miss the Women's World Boxing Championships in November.
Before joining the squad in 2012, Whiteside had competed for England in the featherweight division where she won European silver in 2011 and World bronze a year later.
She fell short of becoming flyweight World champion by a whisker in 2014, losing the final on a split decision in South Korea.
Whiteside's brave return from fracturing her skull saw her surge back to claim European bronze in 2016 and then achieve a lifetime ambition in Australia earlier this year.
GB Boxing Performance Director Rob McCracken said: "Lisa has not trained a great deal with the squad since the Commonwealth Games and after much thought and discussion it became clear to both parties that she was not in a position to continue to commit to the obligations required of her as a member of the GB Boxing squad.
"We would like to thank Lisa for her years of excellent service to GB Boxing.
"She is world-class boxer that has consistently shown she can win medals at the highest level and we wish her the very best of luck in the future."