Jude Gallagher books his ticket to Paris 2024

Images: Tara Robins Mari

Jude Gallagher has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, following a masterclass of boxing against Turkmenistan’s Shukur Ovezov.

This was Jude’s fourth bout of the tournament, following victories over Soulamaine Samghouli of Morocco, Mohamed Hussamuddin of India and Hichem Maouche of Algeria

Jude, of Two Castles BC who contests at 57kg, was dominant form the off, forcing standing counts in Rounds 1 and 2. He won the bout on all scorecards: 27:30; 27:30; 26:30; 27:30; 27:30.

Speaking to IABA just after his win, the 22 year old said: “Words can’t describe what it feels like. Ever since I started boxing. started progressing in boxing, my goal was to box at the Olympic Games. It was always in sight but now that it has come true I can’t believe it.”

And, Jude has praised High Performance coaches, led by Zauri Antia and Damian Kennedy, for their preparation and battle-planning: “Throughout this tournament my faith and trust in the coaches has just grown from the game plans they gave me and carrying them out in the ring. It’s sort of like a surprise to me, that this actually works, but it’s no surprise because they’re top-class coaches. Sticking to their game plan just got me over the line. Being patient was key, working on the outside of that southpaw got me over the line in the end.”

602 boxers from 113 countries registered to contest the tournament – making it the third largest boxing tournament in history. After nine intense days and more than 500 bouts, 47 quota places have been awarded, in all.

Jude joins Kellie Harrington, Michaela Walsh, Aoife O’Rourke, Dean Clancy and Jack Marley as Team Ireland qualified boxers for Paris.

Heartbreak, though, for Ireland’s 66kg Grainne Walsh and 80kg Kelyn Cassidy.

Images: Tara Robins Mari

66kg Grainne Walsh was the first of Ireland’s boxers between the ropes today; she contested Poland’s Aneta Rygielska, having claimed victory over Kenya’s Asiko Friza Anyango and Germany’s Stefanie von Berge. Walsh and Rygielksa have met three times previously, all of which were in 2023 – at Strandja, Feliks Stamm and Leszek Drogosz. Grainne was the victor on two of those occasions. The first round went to Rygielska, 3-2. In the second, Grainne gave a standing count, and saw a point deducted from her opponent. Nevertheless, the judges score cards for that round put the Polish boxer up, 3-2. The third round went to Grainne by the same margin. As, at the final bell, both boxers were tied on three scorecards, these judges were asked to select their winner, and they chose Rygielska. High Performance Director, Tricia Heberle says ” A strangely judged contest especially the 2nd round but what a tournament Grainne Walsh has had. So close.”

Images: Tara Robins Mari

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, victorious over Rafayel Hovhannisayan of Armenia, Wyatt Trujillo of Guatamala and Michail Tsamalidis of Greece, met 2023 IBA World Champion, Kazakhstan’s Nurbek Oralbay.

Both Kelyn and his opponent suffered defeat at the hands of Oleksandr Khyzhniak in 2023 – the Waterford man during the Paris Qualification Bout at the European Games, and Oralbay at last year’s edition of Bocskai Istvan Memorial Tournament.

This was a tight bout from the off, with split rounds all the way through – culminating in a 3-2 decision in favour of the World Champion. The judges scorecards read: 29:28; 28:29; 28:29; 27:30; 29:28.

High Performance Head Coach, Zauri Antia:

The 2nd Olympic World Qualifier, which countries can contest at weights which they have not already qualified, will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 23rd to June 4th.

High Performance Director, Tricia Heberle:


1st Olympic World Qualifier Team:

50kg Daina Moorehouse, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow

54kg Jennifer Lehane, DCU Boxing Club, Dublin

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

51kg Sean Mari, Monkstown BC, Dublin

57kg Jude Gallagher, Two Castles ABC, Tyrone

71kg Aidan Walsh, Holy Family GG BC, Belfast

80kg Kelyn Cassidy, Saviours Crystal, Waterford

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Crumlin BC, Dublin

Session 22A

Session 22B

Session 23A

Session 23B