Lauren Price once again found a way to turn a potential loss into a win over Nouchka Fontijn.

Their fifth career meeting came with a shot at fighting for Gold at stake in the Tokyo Olympics. The opportunity goes to Great Britain’s Price, who defeated Netherland’s Fontijn by split decision in their women’s middleweight semifinal Friday afternoon at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Fontijn won on two cards (29-27, 29-27), with Price winning on one card (29-27) and declared the “preferred winner” on two cards that had the fight even, 28-28 after three rounds.

The outcome was less controversial than Price successfully appealing a split decision loss to Fontijn in the 2019 World Amateur Championships. Fontijn was declared champion for about 30 minutes before the decision was reversed in favor of Price, who entered Tokyo as the number one seed.

The Welsh southpaw—who lives in Sheffield, England—remains the top-ranked middleweight as the division seeks to crown a new queen after Claressa Shield won back-to-back Gold medals in 2012 and 2016 before turning pro.

Price played true to her scouting report in the opening round, shooting her southpaw jab and bouncing on her toes and using lateral movement which helped offset a 5½” height advantage. Fontijn struggled to establish a rhythm, often missing with her right hands. Price was landing combinations down the middle, though leaving herself vulnerable to counter left hooks and right hands from Fontijn.

With the opening round split 3-2 in Fontijn’s favor, Price found herself in a hole after losing a point midway through round two for holding. Fontijn did her part to fight out of frequent clinches prior to that point, with Price returning to boxing from a distance.

The fight was still well within reach on four of the five cards for both fighters heading into the final round. Price stuck to her script, using in and out movement and largely using the exterior of the ring to prevent Fontijn to connect with a fight-altering right hand. The sound game plan implemented by Price was enough to position herself for Gold.

Fontijn exits Tokyo as the only medalist for Netherlands and a two-time medalist, having taken home Silver following a loss to Shields in the 2016 Rio women’s middleweight final. Fontijn takes Bronze in 2020 Tokyo, as does ROC's Zemfira Magomedalieva following her loss to number-two seed Li Qian (China). 

Price and Qian will meet for Gold on Sunday, August 8. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox