2 more Team Ireland boxers have claimed their places in Paris 2024 at the European Games.
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.
60kg Kellie Harrington, 57kg Michaela Walsh and 63.5kg Dean Clancy all booked their tickets by reaching their respective semi finals on Thursday.
All three contested their semi finals on Friday – Kellie took on France’s Estelle Mossely. 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. The reigning Olympic lightweight champion put on a masterclass display and claimed a 5-0 win. Judges scored the bout 30:27, 29: 28, 29:28, 29: 28, 30: 27. Kellie says she was nervous and excited going in to the bout, because it was the “best with the best”. Listen to her post bout interview in full here. Kellie contests her final today, in the first of two days of finals, against Serbia’s Natalia Shadrina. That’s bout 2 of the evening session, beginning at 5pm Irish time.
63.kg Dean Clancy boxed his semi final against 3 time World champion and Olympic silver medalist, France’s Sofiane Oumiha. Dean lost 5-0, but comes home an Olympian with a bronze medal. Judges scored the bout 27: 30, 27: 30, 27: 30, 27: 30, 27: 30. Listen to Dean’s post bout interview here
And 57kg Michaela Walsh met France’s Amina Zidani. Judges scored the bout 28: 29, 27:30, 27:30, 27: 30, 29:28. Michaela comes home with a bronze medal, and the title of Double Olympian.
For two Team Ireland boxers, 92kg Jack Marley, and 75kg Aoife O’Rourke, a finals finish was the only way to book their ticket to Paris.
Jack faced Spain’s Enmanuel Reyes Pla in Friday’s semi finals – Reyes came between Team Ireland heavyweight, Kirill Afanasev and Tokyo qualification at the re-scheduled qualifiers in Paris. The Cuban born boxer is also a World bronze medallist, and a European silver medalist. This was a thrilling, high octaine bout. Jack lost the first round 4-1, won the second 4-1, and left it all behind him to claim the third 5-0. He was awarded the bout, and a ticket to Paris, on a 4-1 split. Judges scored the bout 29: 28, 29: 28, 28:29, 29: 28, 30: 27
Listen to Jack’s post bout interview in full here. Jack’s tournament is not over – he boxes for gold tonight, against Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhidiine. That’s bout 7.
75kg Aoife O’Rourke joins Michaela and Kellie in becoming a double Olympian. She met home favourite, Elisbieta Wojick, in a bout which awakened the entire arena – Ole, Ole, Ole battled with chats of Polska, Polska, Polska. This was a tough, testy bout, which was incredibly tight from the first bell. The opening round went, 4-1, to the Polish boxers, and Aoife claimed the second 4-1. The third and final round was a 3-2 split for the Irish boxers, and that was the final result. Judges scored the bout 28: 29, 28: 29, 27: 30, 30: 27, 29: 28. Aoife boxes for gold on the second of two days of finals, on Sunday. She’ll meet France’s Davina-Myrha Michel.
Bouts will be streamed here