2 wins from 3 for Ireland at Olympic qualifier.

Ireland recorded two wins from three bouts at the 2nd Olympic Qualifier in Bangkok.

First up was 50kg Daina Moorehouse. Her weight has among the smallest entries in the tournament, and so this was her debut bout. She made no bones about her intentions in her contest with Armenia’s Anush Grigoryan, using her speed-power to devastating affect against her taller opponent. The 4-1 decision, and progression, went to Daina, on a scoreline of 29:28; 28:29; 27:30; 28:29; 27:30. High Performance Director, Tricia Heberle says “Great first up win against a tough Armenian opponent. Such a long wait to fight but came through well”

71kg Aidan Walsh, a Tokyo bronze medalist, was back for his fourth bout of the tournament, following victories over Kenya, Algeria and Ukraine. This was a Paris qualification contest against Jordan’s Zeyad Eashash. Aidan won the first round, but points deductions in 2 and 3 meant the decision could not go in his favour. Eashash has qualified for the Olympic Games following a 4-1 win, on a scoreline of 29:26; 29:26; 27:28; 28:27; 28:27. There are five Paris quota places available in Aidan’s weight, which means there will be a box-offs for the 5th place on Saturday and Sunday. Tricia Heberle, says “Aidan has been in top form all week & his 1st round today was exceptional. This is a tough competition where mistakes get punished. Aidan is absolute quality & he has overcome massive challenges to be here.”

66kg Grainne Walsh has won through to the quarter finals, and is a hair’s breadth from qualification, following her dominant victory over Cote d’Ivoire’s Sedja Sanogo – Grainne’s speed, ringcraft and punch-picking shone through in the UD result. She boxes for a place in Paris on Sunday against Armenia’s Ani Hovesepyan. HPD Tricia Heberle says “A brilliant and dominant performance from Ireland’s no.1 at 66kg. Her opponent from the Ivory Coast gave it everything but it was a Walsh masterclass. One more win for OG qualification. This girl can.”

579 boxers from 133 countries are contesting the tournament. As with the 1st Olympic World Qualifier in March, boxers will contest to quota; meaning, they will cease to box at a qualification bout. There will be no semi-finals or finals, and no medals bestowed. In5 of the weights Ireland is contesting in Bangkok (50kg, 54kg, 66kg, 51kg and 92+kg), 4 Paris quota places are available. In Men’s 71kg, 5 quota places are available, and there are 3 in Men’s 80kg – which means the de-facto bronze medalists will box off for the final quota place in that weight.

Day Nine

Four Ireland boxers are in last 16 or box-off action on Thursday.

First up is 54kg Jennifer Lehane. She takes on Anastasiia Kovalchuk in bout 3 of Ring B’s Afternoon Session, and should be in action at around 7.45am, Irish Time. 92+kg Martin McDonagh returns for his second bout of the tournament, also at Last 16 stage. He contests against Bulgaria’s Peter Rumenov Belberov in Bout 12 of Ring A’s Afternoon Session. That’s at around 9.30am, Irish time. 50kg Daina Moorehouse takes on Guatemala’s Aylin Jamez, Guatamala in the Evening Session in Ring A. Bout 3 should be underway at around 1pm, Irish Time. In the same ring and session, 71kg Aidan Walsh contests the first of two box-off bouts for the 5th quota place in his weight. He meets Cuba’s Jorge Cuellar in Bout 11 at 2.45pm, Irish time.

Programme

Watch

Live-streaming of the tournament begins on Thursday, hosted here

Team

The maximum team size any federation may qualify for an Olympic Games is 13. Six Team Ireland boxers have already qualified: reigning Olympic lightweight champ, Kellie Harrington, and now double Olympians 57kg Michaela Walsh and Aoife O’Rourke. 57kg Jude Gallagher booked his ticket to Paris at the 1st Olympic World Qualifier. 63.5kg Dean Clancy and heavyweight, Jack Marley, qualified at the 2023 European Games.

50kg Daina Moorehouse, Enniskerry BC, Co. Wicklow

54kg Jennifer Lehane, DCU Boxing Club, Dublin

66kg Grainne Walsh, St. Mary’s BC, Tallaght, Dublin

51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin

71kg Aidan Walsh, Holy Family Golden Gloves BC, Belfast

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, Saviour’s Crystal, Waterford.

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Galway Boxing Club.

Draws are available here

All results are here