CORK middleweight Christina Desmond got a tantalising glimpse of just how close she is to an Olympic medal at Rio 2016.
See today’s Cork Evening Echo.
Noucho Fontijn of the Netherland’s claimed silver in Rio after making the 75kg final last Sunday.
Desmond stunned the world of amateur boxing at the Olympic qualifiers in Samsun,Turkey earlier this year after beating Fontijn.
Written off in almost all quarters – except on www.iaba.ie and the Evening Echo – Desmond produced one of the performances of her career to eliminate the World No. 2 ranked fighter from the tournament on a unanimous decision.
Fontijn bounced back from that reversal to qualify for Rio after reaching the World Elite 75kg final in Kazakhstan where she was beaten by London 2012 champion Claressa Shields of the USA, who beat her in the Olympic middle final last weekend in Rio.
Shields, the London 2012 gold medallist, also scopped the inaugural Val Barker Best Boxer Award for female boxers.
Desmond didn’t make Rio, but the Fr Horgan’s BC stand out has one eye on Tokyo 2020, and her win over the Dutch puncher augurs well for the Irish Youth Olympian who got her predictions spot on for the 31st Olympiad.
“I’m up there with the best of them and I was happy to see her (Fontijn) win a medal at the Olympics. I felt she was going to beat the Chinese girl in the semi finals as she had beaten her a few times before, she said.
“But Shields was the London 2012 champion and that was always going to be a difficult fight for her. I’m happy enough with my performances this year. If results had gone my way it could have been me at the Rio Olympics.”