Father and coach Steve Whitwell was left disgusted after seeing his daughter Shona’s bid for world glory wrecked by a controversial piece of judging.
The St Ives starlet powered into the quarter-finals of the 60kg class at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Championships in Taiwan only to be stopped in her tracks by a hotly-disputed decision.
Whitwell delivered a masterful display to win every round of her opening fight against a highly-rated opponent from Vietnam and she was equally as impressive 48 hours later when seeing off a Thai boxer with a display full of smart footwork and slick counter-punching.
Those efforts earned a quarter-final showdown against world number three Nazym Ichzhanova from Kazhakstan.
Yet, despite another polished performance, her progress was ended by those outside the ring.
Whitwell senior said: “We were in no doubt that Shona had won and plenty of other people – including some judges not involved in this fight – felt the same way too.
“Shona did get caught by a few pot-shots in the middle rounds, but she dominated the first and last with some great counter-punching.
“It was absolutely unbelievable to see the girl from Kazhakstan given the fight on a unanimous decision.
“In another twist the scorecards posted online show Shona as boxing out of the blue corner when she was actually in red.
“Whether there was a mix-up or the judging was just completely incompetent, which can unfortunately happen, Shona was left devastated at missing out on a medal.
“She had to miss her exams to take part in the World Championships and all the hard work she put in deserved more than ending like this.”
One consolation arising from the disappointment was a climb into the top 10 of the world rankings in her category.
Shona’s place in the England squad for the European Championships in August has also been confirmed.