McCracken, who trains Anthony Joshua and heads up the GB programme in Sheffield, convinced all his charges not to turn pro after the Games were delayed.

And with a youthful women's squad emboldened by an extra year's experience, hopes are high in a sport Team GB have medalled in at every Games since 1968.

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"We are aware the situation with Covid-19 is far from over and it has been a major disruption to the plans we had in place," said McCracken.

"But it is important to try and take positives from the situation and the lockdown and its aftermath has given us time to reflect on what we have.

"12 months ago when I was asked for my thoughts with a year to go, I was cautiously optimistic.

"At that point we had a strong group of talented and experienced men that had a track record of winning medals at major competitions. Today the situation is different.

"Although some of the men were disappointed to have to wait for 12 more months, the fact that none of the men have been lured to the professional ranks shows they are as committed as ever to representing Team GB in Tokyo.

"The women's squad started out as a newer group and though talented, they did not quite have the medal winning pedigree of the men’s squad.

"They have had an equally positive last 12 months. We have seen some new talents emerge while some of our more experienced boxers have made a step up.

"The fact we now have an additional 12 months to work with this group of men and women is a big positive for the Olympic boxing programme."

Featherweight Peter McGrail would have left the amateur ranks right after Tokyo 2020 and planned to fight professionally before the end of the year.

Super heavyweight Fraser Clarke, now on the GB amateur programme for a decade without appearing at the Olympics, was also expected to make the move.

Britain's boxers returned to training in June and sparring resumed a few weeks later at their training complex at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

With contact training now in full swing, McCracken says it’s not hard to find the silver linings in the postponement of the Games.

"Instead of preparing for the opening ceremony, we're training with coaches in PPE and boxers wearing face masks," he said.

"Our coaches and staff did an amazing job of supporting the boxers through lockdown, helping them to stay fit and continuing to provide coaching and support via Zoom training sessions.

"Contact training has been re-introduced and it feels like we are getting back to where we want to be.

"The boxers and coaches are all enjoying being back and the atmosphere in the gym is fantastic.

"We are fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the world and giving our boxers another year to develop can only benefit their development, particularly the less experienced ones."

Sportsbeat 2020

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