A WEST FIFE schoolgirl has made history after she became the first female to win gold for Scotland at a major international boxing competition.

Dunfermline High School pupil Niamh Mitchell, 16, packed a punch to claim a stunning victory in the 52kg light bantamweight category at the EUBC (European Boxing Confederation) European Junior Championships.

The talented S5 pupil, who lives in Rosyth, defeated opponents from Ireland, Hungary and England en-route to the final, which saw her face two-time European champion Laila Abdullatif, of Cyprus, on Tuesday.

In a sensational bout, Niamh claimed victory by unanimous decision to collect her country’s second-ever European Junior gold medal and become just the seventh Scot of any gender to become a European champion.

Following her triumph in Montesilvano, Italy, she told Boxing Scotland that her success was “surreal” and that she didn’t think she would “come this far in the competition”.

“I came into it thinking there was a chance of medalling possibly, at the most,” she said.

“I had only had seven fights before this, so to do four in a week was crazy.

“It is brilliant that I have come this far and made history for Scotland. It is one of the best feelings I have ever had – I am over the moon.”

Niamh’s proud, and emotional, dad, Stewart, told Press Sport: “It’s phenomenal.

“When she first went away, me and my wife were so apprehensive because she’s so young, and from the start of the tournament, we’ve been feeling physically sick!

“Once she was into the quarter-finals, if she got through that, she would get a bronze medal. I was just praying she got that.

“I’m lost for words. It’ll take a couple of weeks for it to sink in I think!

“She’s a really down-to-earth lassie and she’s very committed. She never misses a training session.

“She can’t believe it herself. She took it one fight at a time and she’s so excited. It’s great.”

James White, who coaches Niamh at Bowhill Miners Boxing Club, having coached her previously at Valleyfield Miners’ Boxing Club, added: “I’m speechless; I can’t believe what she’s done.

“I was on the phone to her (before the final) and said this is not a noose round your neck; this is an opportunity, go and take it.

“I’m just ecstatic.”

We'll have a full interview with Niamh following her victory in next week's Press Sport.