Dean Gardiner

Dean Gardiner

Dean Gardiner and Michael O’Reilly are back between the ropes tomorrow for the semi-finals of the World Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan.

O’Reilly meets Iraq’s London 2012 Olympian Waheed Abdulridha Waheed  in the 7th fight on the program which begins at 10am (Irish time) and Gardiner is in action two bouts after O’Reilly  versus Alexei Zavatin (Moldova). Please see below attachment for semi-final roster.


Gardiner must win his next two fights and secure gold in the Azeri capital to qualify for Rio as there is only one Olympic place available in his super-heavy class.

Rio 2016 Olympan Michael O'Reilly celebrates after today's win

Rio 2016 Olympan Michael O’Reilly celebrates after today’s win

O’Reilly qualified for the 31st Olympiad today by virtue of reaching the semi-finals and finishing in the top five.  The Portlaoise BC middleweight beat Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly this afternoon in the last-eight to join Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Brendan Irvine, Michael Conlan, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward on the plane to Rio.

If O’Reilly wins gold in Baku he’ll also qualify Shakhsuvarly as top four and the quarter-finalist that lost to the eventual gold medallist go through to August’s Olympics.

The finals will be decided on Saturday. Team Ireland are due home on Sunday.

Irish Draw Baku Olympic qualifiers

June 18th

(Last 32)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Mustafa El Molla (Sweden) 3-0

June 19th

(Last 32)

64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Smetov Ismetov (Bulgaria) 0-3

(Last 16)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner beat Satish Kumar (India) 2-1

June 20th

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Vitalia Bandarenka (Belarus) 3-0 (last 32)

91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) lost to Wesley Apochi (Nigeria) 0-3 (last 16)

June 21st

Last 16

75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Shinebayor Narmandakh (Mongolia) 3-0


91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Viktor Vychryst (Ukraine) 3-0

June 23rd


75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 3-0

June 24th


75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Waheed Abdulridha Waheed (Iraq)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Alexei Zavatin (Moldova)


Irish Squad

64kg (Light-welter) Dean Walsh (St Josephs/St Ibars)

75kg (Middleweight) Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Qualified for Rio 2016 and at least a bronze medal)

91kg (Heavyweight) Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)

91kg + (Super-heavy) Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) (Bronze, at least).

Team manager Joe Hennigan

Coaches: Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger

Performance Analyst Alan Swanton

Sports Psychologist: Gerry Hussey