Team Ireland arrived home from the Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan this morning via Dublin Airport.
Michael O’Reilly and Dean Gardiner won gold and silver at the tournament, with O’Reilly also claiming a middleweight berth at the 2016 Olympic Games.
“I achieved what I set out to achieve in Baku, said O’Reilly, the No. 1 seed in the 75kg class at the 92-nation tournament.
“I would like to thank my wife and family, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association and coaches Zaur and Eddie, my club and club coach Pat Ryan for their belief in me,” said the AIBA World No. 2 ranked middleweight.
The Azeri capital is a happy hunting ground for World Elite bronze medallist O’Reilly as he won European Games gold in Baku last year.
Gardiner lost out on a narrow unanimous decision to Italy’s Guido Vianello for a Rio place in Saturday’s super-heavy final.
Darren O’Neill and Dean Walsh lined out for Ireland at heavyweight and light-welterweight at the penultimate Olympic qualifiers. Zuar Antia and Eddie Bolger were working Ireland’s corner.
“The Irish Athletic Boxing Association commends and congratulates our boxers, coaches and staff for another magnificent tournament at the Rio 2016 qualifiers against some of the best nations in the world,” said Pat Ryan, President of the IABA, at today’s homecoming.
Please scroll down for pictures.
64kg (Light-welter) Dean Walsh (St Josephs/St Ibars)
75kg (Middleweight) Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise) (Qualified for Rio 2016 and Gold)
91kg (Heavyweight) Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91kg + (Super-heavy) Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) (Silver).
Team manager Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger
Performance Analyst Alan Swanton
Sports Psychologist: Gerry Hussey