DESPITE suffering a first- round loss in his Olympics debut, Latrobe boxer Jackson Woods remained upbeat upon his return to the North-West Coast yesterday.
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Woods’ arrival at Devonport Airport was a low-key affair, but the 19-year-old shone brightly, proudly wearing his Australian tracksuit in the chilly conditions.

“I was a little bit disappointed in my performance, but I’m only 19, so I’ve got time to make up for it.” Woods said in light of his loss to Algerian Samir Brahimi in the 52kg division.

Despite his early exit, Woods said his first Olympics experience was something that would stay with him forever.

“In the village was just crazy, it’s something that you can’t explain unless you are there,” he said.

“I got pictures with Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic, LeBron James and I saw Usain Bolt a couple of times, which felt pretty weird just being this bloke from Latrobe.

“I actually watched Bolt win the 200m final, which was amazing, along with watching a bit of diving.”

Woods also praised fellow Tasmanian boxer and team captain Luke Jackson, who announced his retirement after his opening bout loss.

“Jacko (Jackson) and I are really close. If I ever needed anything he was the first person to help me out.”

With the world championships in Kazakhstan next year along with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Woods will sit down with his coach, Craig Woods, and plan his future, which may include moving up in weight division.

“I might move up to 56kg division, I’m not sure yet. If I do, I’ll start going to the gym and putting on a bit of muscle.” Woods said.

“I don’t struggle too much with making weight, but it was a little bit tiring having to move down 4kg.”

“I’m managing it alright, but I feel if I move up a weight division I’d be a lot stronger and have more energy.”

Australia’s Olympic team was given a rousing reception at the official welcome home ceremony at Sydney Airport yesterday.

About 500 guests, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, friends, family and a large media contingent, packed into a hangar at the airport to greet the athletes after they touched down at 7.15am.

Meares eyes more gold at Rio, Page 36.

Boxer Jackson Woods arrives home from the Olympics at Devonport Airport yesterday. Picture: Stuart Wilson.

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