Team Ireland flew out to Kazakhstan this morning ahead of the opening bell for the 2016 AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Astana.
The 9th edition of the tournament is also a qualifier for Rio 2016 in the three Olympic weights for women – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.
Seven of the squad completed what team manager Anna Moore described as an excellent training camp at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield last weekend, while Katie Taylor was in training camp at an Irish Athletic Boxing Association hosted camp featuring the Irish Elite team, Great Britain, Germany, India and Kazakhstan at the Irish Institute of Sport in Abbotstown.
The Bray woman, who will be aiming for a record sixth successive World title in Astana, was training and sparring specifically with Russia’s Sofya Ochigava in Abbotstown for over a week.
Both women met in the 2011 and 2012 European, World and Olympic finals, Taylor winning all three. The pair have claimed seven AIBA World and nine European Elite titles between them in three different weights.
Ochigava, speaking to www.iaba.ie, confirmed she is switching codes and turning professional.
Meanwhile, the top four boxers (the semi-finalists) in each of the three Olympic weights in Astana qualify for Rio.
Boxing begins next Thursday at the final qualifier for women for the 31st Olympiad.
Donna Barr, Ceire Smith, Dervla Duffy, Moira McElliggot, Taylor, Kelly Harrington, Grainne Walsh and Christina Desmond will represent Ireland in Central Asia.
Please click here for official website and program (draft version).
9th World Women’s Championships & Olympic qualifiers Astana Kazakhstan, May 19/27
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