Team Ireland have landed in Sofia ahead of the opening bell of the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament.
The competition is a keynote event in the Irish boxing calendar, and last year attracted over 450 boxers from 38 nations. Ireland brought home three golds, for Kellie Harrington, Amy Broadhurst and Tina Desmond, and a bronze for Kelyn Cassidy.
The team includes boxers qualified for Paris 2024 – Jack Marley (92kg), Dean Clancy (63.5kg), Aoife O’Rourke (75kg) and Michaela Walsh (57kg).
Three boxers have been withdrawn through injury – 66kg Amy Broadhurst (ankle), 57kg Dylan Eagleson (hand) and 71kg Dean Walsh (back). Kellie Harrington will travel to Assisi for a multi-nations training camp.
The tournament draw takes place on Saturday afternoon, and boxing will begin on Sunday, February 4th. Finals will be boxed on February 11th.
High Performance Head Coach, Zauri Antia says “Strandja is a very tough tournament – last year, 38 nations competed there and we performed very strongly. This is an equally strong team, preparing to go up against some of the best boxers in the world.”
High Performance Director, Tricia Heberle, says “Strandja is a world-renowned tournament and one at which IABA has a history of contesting strongly. This is a dual focus competition – for our athletes already qualified for Paris, this is a key preparation event. For the Paris 2024 Olympic Training Squad, this is a vital development and preparation opportunity, where they will meet some of the highest-level international athletes. The preparation for this team, supported by Sport Ireland and Sport Science practitioners at Sport Institute Ireland, has been excellent, and has included a Heat Acclimatisation Camp in Tenerife, and training at the Ulster High Performance Unit, at the University of Ulster Jordanstown, as well as at our base in SII.”
50kg Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s BC, Mayo
54kg Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin
57kg Michaela Walsh, Holy Family GG, Belfast
66kg Lisa O’Rourke, Castlerea BC, Roscommon
75kg Aoife O’Rourke, Castlerea BC, Roscommon
51kg Rickey Nesbitt, Holy Family BC, Drogheda
57kg Adam Hession, Monivea BC, Galway
63.5kg Dean Clancy, Sean McDermott BC, Leitrim
71kg Eugene McKeever, Holy Family, Drogheda
92kg Jack Marley, Monkstown BC, Dublin
92+kg Martin McDonagh, Crumlin, Dublin.