Ireland fly out to Italy today for their final training camp before next month’s European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in London.
The 13-strong London squad will train with the host nation, Finland, France, India, New Zealand, Romania and Russia in Assisi.
“We have an intense two-week training camp in Italy with several other countries. It’s exciting, this is the stage that the guys all want to be involved in,” IABA High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne told the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
Team captain Brendan Irvine said the team is looking forward to getting a lot of quality work done in the Perugian province.
The squad return home on February 28 ahead of the European qualifiers which begin at London’s Copper Box Arena on March 13.
77 Olympic places – 50 for men and 27 for women – will be up for grabs across the 13 Olympic weights – 8 for men and 5 for women – in the English capital.
India and New Zealand are building toward the Asia/Oceania qualifiers which begin in Amman on March 3.
The qualification process for the 32nd Olympiad begins next Thursday with Africa’s top prospects going head-to-head in Dakar.
At least 40 nations are expected to be between the ropes at the European qualifiers.
European Qualifiers for Tokyo 2020
Copperbox Arena London March 13/20
52kg: Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s, Antrim) Cpt
57kg: Kurt Walker (Canal, Antrim)
63kg: George Bates (St Mary’s, Dublin)
69kg: Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)
75kg: Michael Nevin (Portlaoise, Laois)
81kg: Emmett Brennan (Dublin Docklands)
91kg: Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield, Dublin)
91+kg: Dean Gardiner (Clonmel, Tipperary)
51kg: Ceire Smith (Cavan)
57kg: Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)
60kg: Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s, Dublin)
69kg: Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s, Cork)
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea, Roscommon)
High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk
Five Routes to Tokyo 2020
Africa: Dakar, Senegal
Asian/Oceania: Amman, Jordan
Europe: Copper Box Arena, London
Americas: Buenos Aires, Argentina
March 26/April 3
Final World Qualifier
Paris: Grand Dôme