Kellie Harrington and Michaela O’Rourke are now double Olympians, and Dean Clancy, a 2018 Youth Olympian, has booked his place in the French capital in 13 months time.
The European Games is an Olympic Qualification event. A total of 44 places at Paris 2024 are available at these Games. In all weights excepting 75kg, 51kg and 92kg, a semi-final finish will win qualification. In these three weights, a finals finish is required. 319 boxers, in all, are contesting the tournament. There will be 2 World qualifiers in March and May of 2024. Their dates and locations have yet to be confirmed.
The card opened with heartbreak for 54kg Jennifer Lehane – she won two bouts in the tournament and was aiming for a 3rd victory over Bulgaria’s Stanimira Patrova. She is a 3 time European champ at 2 weights, and a double Olympian, having contested Rio and Tokyo. Jenny left nothing behind her in the ring, but the 5-0 decision went to the taller veteran.
Reigning lightweight Olympic champion Kellie Harrington was the first Team Ireland boxer to win Paris qualification – and become a double Olympian in the process. She contested against fellow Tokyo Olympian, Agnes Alexiusson. She claimed a 4-1 win and an reinvigorated love of the sweet science in the process. Listen to Kellie’s post bout interview in full, here. Thursday is a rest day at the competition. Kellie takes on France’s Estelle Mossely in Friday’s semi finals. Mossely has returned from the pro-ranks, where she is 11-1. Before she turned over, she claimed both Olympic and World gold in 2016. She and Kellie meet in bout 3 of Ring A’s afternoon session.
63kg World and European Champion, 66kg Amy Broadhurst, was in action next. She took on GB’s Rosie-Joy Eccles in a testy bout which say both boxers grapple. Amy lost out on the narrowest of margins, the dreaded 3-2 split – the judges scored the bout 28:29, 29: 28, 29: 28, 27: 30, 28: 29.
63.5kg Dean Clancy, a 2018 Youth Olympian, will be in Paris come July 2024. He executed a stylish, exciting win over Italy’s Gianluigi Malanga. It was a particularly poignant day for Dean – his grandfather died on Saturday and was laid to rest today. He says its a surreal experience. Listen to his post-bout interview in full here. Dean meets France’s Sofiane Oumiha in bout 9 of the semi-finals afternoon session to up-grade from bronze.
80kg Kelyn Cassidy went to war with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khysniak – an Olympic silver medalist, world champion and multiple European champion. Kelyn won the first round 3-2, won the second 5-0. He had a point deducted and was given a standing count in the third, which cost him the win, a medal, and a place at Paris 2024.
50kg Daina Moorehouse suffered similar heartbreak, against France’s Wassila Lkhadiri. The Bray boxer won the first round 3-2, the second round by the same margin, and lost the last round 4-1.
And heavyweight Jack Marley made history today, with a 4-1 win over Croatia’s Marco Calic. The judes scored the bout 27:30, 29:28, 27:30, 26:30, 28: 29. While the 92kg ticket to Paris will only be issued to European Games finalists – but, he is the first Irish heavyweight to medal at a major tournament in 76 years.
Jack faces Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes in Friday’s semi finals – Reyes came between Team Ireland heavyweight, Kirill Afanasev and Tokyo qualification at the re-scheduled qualifiers in Paris. Jack meets the Spanish boxer in bout 13 of Ring A’s afternoon session.
57kg Michaela Walsh joined the ranks of the double Olympians today. The Tokyo veteran booked her place at Paris with a 5-0 win over Denmark’s Melissa Juvonen Mortensen. She says the feeling is “undescribable” and having her hand raised is a ‘special, special moment’. Listen to her post bout interview in full, here. Michaela boxes on Friday for medal up-grade against France’s Amina Zidani.
Tokyo Olympian and twice European Champion, 75kg Aoife O’Rourke, will have to claim one more win to qualify for Paris – she has at least a bronze medal following her 5-0 victory over Love Nell Holgersson of Sweden
She says there are no easy bouts at this level – listen to her post bout interview here. Aoife meets home favourite, Elisabeta Wojick in bout 6 of the evening session.
Semi Finals Programme
Bouts will be streamed here