Ryan Burnett, on this day six years ago,claimed gold at the inaugural Olympic Youth Games in the light-flyweight class in Singapore.
Belfast native Burnett and Joe Ward, the only Irish boxer to represent his country at the Olympics and Olympic Youths, qualified for Singapore after reaching the 49kg and 71kg finals at the World Youth Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier that year.
Ward won gold in the Azeri capital, but bowed out of the Olympic Youths in the preliminaries after losing to Australia’s Damian Hooper, who be beat in the World Youth final. Ward picked up a serious hand injury versus the tall Aussie in the first round in Singapore.
Burnett, who has since switched codes,lost his World Youth final to Azerbaijan’s Salman Alizade, but the Holy Family BC man exacted revenge after beating the Azeri in the Olympic Youth final, a result which Burnett predicted; “if he ever met Alizade outside of Azerbaijan.”
The final score read 13-6 to Burnett under the only computer scoring system.The light-fly final was the first bout on the card and Burnett is officially the first ever Olympic Youth champion.
Jim Moore and Jimmy Payne were working Ireland’s corner in Singapore.
“Ryan dropped him in the first round in the final.That really set him on his way. It was close in the World Youth final prior to Singapore but Ryan felt he did enough to win and so did we.But the Olympic Youth final wasn’t even close.It was a brilliant performances from Ryan.Joe was unlucky against the Australian lad he beat in the World Youths.Joe broke his hand in the first round and even if he’d won he wouldn’t have been able to continue,”recalled Moore who was also Irish team manager at the tournament.
Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez and France’s Tony Yoka, who both won gold at the Rio Olympics last weekend, also claimed Olympic Youth gold in Singapore on August 25, 2010.
Ciara Ginty (silver) and Michael Gallagher (bronze) medalled at the 2014 Olympic Youths in China to improve Ireland’s haul from two Olympic Youth tournaments to one gold, one silver and one bronze.