Heartbreak for Cassidy & Mari in Bangkok.

After a run of 10 wins from 10 performances at the 2nd Olympic World Qualifier, there was heartbreak for Ireland in Bangkok today.

80kg Kelyn Cassidy was first between the rope. He contested his 3rd bout of the tournament against Spain’s Gazimagomed Schami Jalidov Gafurova – and feel foul of the dreaded 3-2 split decision. Judges scored the bout 28:29; 29:28; 28:29; 27:30; 29:28. Kelyn, who recorded earlier statement wins over Germany and India en route to the Last 16, says “Gave it my all but came up short. Paris Olympic dream over. If you had of said 3 years ago after making it on HP that I would end up where I did, I would have laughed at you. It was a great honour to where the Irish signet on my chest with pride. Also to have the backing of Waterford behind me was something I’ll never forget. I hope you all enjoyed the journey and hopefully I brought good energy buzz back home”. Ireland’s Ambassador to Thailand, Pat Bourke, who visited the team at the Indoor Arena Hua Mak this week, says “It was a privilege to be at the arena today to watch Kelyn box. He was brilliant and the bout could have gone either way. His talent, commitment and courage made me very proud to be the ambassador of the country he was representing”.

Kelyn’s club, Saviour’s Crystal, has paid tribute to him “What can we say only how proud we are of Kelyn Cassidy representing Ireland on the biggest event at world and European level and he represent Ballybeg and Waterford given all of us fantastic night and days of great boxing he is an inspiration to ever kid in all sports if you want to get to the top level you can. Today was not Kelyn day he gave his best only to come up short against a good boxer from Spain. It’s the end of an Olympic qualifying for Kelyn time for a good rest and reset and come again. We want to thank everyone for all your support and message over the last qualifying tournaments it is amazing and greatly appreciated and we could not of getting to where we are with out the support from our community of Ballybeg and the great people from Waterford from us all thank you all so much”

51kg Sean Mari showed humbling courage in his Last 16 Bout today, against Malaysia’s Ariffin Muhammad Abdul Qaiyum. Sean sustained an injury to his backhand in his opening bout win over Pakistan, but chose to continue training throughout the week, and step between the ropes today. He contested with great valour, but was withdrawn on medical grounds before the 3rd round by his corner, Damian Kennedy and James Doyle. High Performance Director, Tricia Heberle, says “Trained with one hand all week and wanted to give it a go. No lack of courage in this team and so disappointing that tonight. Sean Mari couldn’t show his true self. A great lad and, IABA and Monkstown (Dublin) BC team member”. Sean’s club, Monkstown, says “We’re absolutely devastated for Sean but known the man he is he’ll be back bigger & better. Everyone at MBC is so proud of him”

579 boxers from 133 countries are contesting the tournament. As with the 1st Olympic World Qualifier in March, boxers will contest to quota; meaning, they will cease to box at a qualification bout. There will be no semi-finals or finals, and no medals bestowed. In 5 of the weights Ireland is contesting in Bangkok (50kg, 54kg, 66kg, 51kg and 92+kg), 4 Paris quota places are available. In Men’s 71kg, 5 quota places are available, and there are 3 in Men’s 80kg – which means the de-facto bronze medalists will box off for the final quota place in that weight.

Day Eight

Tokyo bronze medalist 71kg Aidan Walsh is in quarter final, and qualification action, at around 9.45am on Friday morning. He contests against Jordan’s Zeyad Eashash in Bout 14 of Ring A’s Afternoon Session. There are five Paris quota places available in Aidan’s weight, which means there will be a box-off for the 5th place on Saturday.

50kg Daina Moorehouse makes her tournament debut at the Last 16 stage. She meets Armenia’s Anush Grigoryan in Bout 6 of Ring A’s Afternoon Session – that’s at 8.15am, Irish time.

66kg Grainne Walsh returns for her 3rd bout, also at Last 16. She contests against Ivory Coast’s Sedja Sanogo in Bout 3 of Ring B’s Evening Session, at around 1pm 

Programme

Watch

Live-streaming of the tournament begins on Thursday, hosted here

Team

The maximum team size any federation may qualify for an Olympic Games is 13. Six Team Ireland boxers have already qualified: reigning Olympic lightweight champ, Kellie Harrington, and now double Olympians 57kg Michaela Walsh and Aoife O’Rourke. 57kg Jude Gallagher booked his ticket to Paris at the 1st Olympic World Qualifier. 63.5kg Dean Clancy and heavyweight, Jack Marley, qualified at the 2023 European Games.

50kg Daina Moorehouse, Enniskerry BC, Co. Wicklow

54kg Jennifer Lehane, DCU Boxing Club, Dublin

66kg Grainne Walsh, St. Mary’s BC, Tallaght, Dublin

51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin

71kg Aidan Walsh, Holy Family Golden Gloves BC, Belfast

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, Saviour’s Crystal, Waterford.

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Galway Boxing Club.