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.
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
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Mustafa El Molla (Sweden) 3-0
64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Smetov Ismetov (Bulgaria) 0-3
91kg+ Dean Gardiner beat Satish Kumar (India) 2-1
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)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Shinebayor Narmandakh (Mongolia) 3-0
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Viktor Vychryst (Ukraine) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) beat Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 3-0
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Waheed Abdulridha Waheed (Iraq)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Alexei Zavatin (Moldova)
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