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Antoine and Tyrieshia Douglas fail to make Olympic team

Tyrieshia Douglas (left), of Baltimore, failed to beat 2011 national champion Marlen Esparza on 18th February in the flyweight division at the U.S. women's Olympic boxing trials. It was her sixth bout in as many days, and tiredness may have played a part in her defeat.

Knowing that she is second best in the 112-pound flyweight class in the USA will be small comfort as she can no longer gain a place on her country's Olympic team.

Douglas, 23, who spent her senior year of high school at the now-defunct City Lights Public Charter School for at-risk youth, trains in Baltimore at the Upton Boxing Center under Calvin Ford and Allison. She grew up in Washington, mostly bouncing through the District’s foster care system after she and her three siblings were removed from the home of her birth mother.

"I'm a prime example," she said. "I've been molested. Both my parents have been on drugs. You can't tell. People think I had a spoon in my mouth until they actually get to know me. A lot of us give up because we don't have no help. I'm one who didn't give up."

Douglas said her parents have been in prison most of her life due to their drug use. She and her brothers spent their childhood being shuttled from one foster home to another in the Washington, D.C. area. "I've been in them since I was baby," she said. "I can't tell you how many."

She was 16 when she got into boxing after a fight on the street in which she left her three female attackers with broken bones and nerve damage. Since then, she has risen through her sport to make history.

She and younger brother Antoine are the first brother-sister combo to reach the Olympic trials in boxing.“ They were always together, big sister, little brother,” said Kay Koroma, Antoine Douglas's uncle and trainer. “Everything they did, they did together.”

Antoine, (right) 18, an honors student who attended Anacostia High, qualified for the Olympic trials for men.  The 2009 Junior Olympic champion, an elbow injury kept him out of boxing for much of 2009-10. When he returned, he won a silver medal in the 2010 National PAL Championships in the 165-pound class, then claimed the bronze medal at the USA Boxing National Championships in late June.

Disappointingly, Antoine also failed to win an Olympic slot.

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