Team Ireland and staff in Astana

Team Ireland and staff in Astana

The draw for the AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers will be made tomorrow morning after the general weigh-in in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Boxing begins on Thursday. Astana is five hours ahead of Ireland.

Seventy three nations have entered for the final Olympic qualifier for women for Rio 2016.

Twelve Olympics places, four in each weight, are up for grabs in the three Olympics weights – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – for women.

The top four (the semi-finalists) qualify. A top four finish will also guarantee at least bronze.

Boxers that made the third and fourth place box-offs in the Continental qualifiers will also qualify for Rio if the athletes that achieved the qualification standard through the Continental route make the standard again in Astana.

In that case, the World places prevail and the Continental places kick back to the boxer(s) that reached the third and fourth place box-offs through at thir Continental qualifiers.

Katie Taylor won the third and four place box-off at the European qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey last month after beating Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva.

“I know I have to prepare for the World Championships now and this is the start of it,” said the Olympic champion after that win.

Ceire Smith, Taylor and Christina Desmond will represent Ireland in the Olympic weights in Astana.

Barys Arena tournamnet venue

Barys Arena tournamnet venue

Donna Barr, Dervla Duffy, Moira McElliggot, Kelly Harrington and Grainne Walsh will be aiming for medals at the 9th edition of the tournament since 2001.

Team Ireland have been in Astana since last Saturday in the countdown to the third last qualifier for women and men Rio 2016.

Taylor, the 2006,2008,2010,2012 and 2014 World Elite champion, will become the first woman in the history of the sport to win six successive titles if she finished on top of the 60kg podium in the Azeri capital.

Seven athletes have already qualifed for Rio in the each of the three Olympics weights. That number will increase to eleven in each class after Astana. The final three places – one in each weight – will be distributed throught the Tripartite Commission (invitation places).

36 women and 250 men compete at each Olympics.



9th World Women’s Championships & Olympic qualifiers Astana Kazakhstan, May 19/27

Irish squad

48kg Donna Barr (Twin Towns)

51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)

54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)

57kg Moira McElligot (St Michael’s Athy)

60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)

64kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin)

69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)

75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)

Team manager: Anna Moore

Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Gerry Storey, Pat McDonagh

Physio: Molly Ryan