Quigley and Ward return with World Championship medals

Ireland's World Amateur Boxing Championship medallists Jason Quigley and Joe Ward returned to a tremendous welcome at Dublin Airport shortly after 12.15 this afternoon.

Quigley picked up Ireland's first silver medal on Saturday, after ending his 32-fight unbeaten run, following a loss to Kazakhstan fighter Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, with 19-year old Ward taking bronze on Friday, after defeat to Cuban World champion Julio Peraza in the semi-final.

22-year old Quigley says the disappointment of not getting a Gold medal is behind him.

"I'm absolutely delighted," he said.

"It's hard to take at the time getting a silver medal, but whenever you come back to your family and supporters like this it makes it all worthwhile.

"It takes a wee bit of time for these things to settle in, but over the past 24 hours I think things have started to settle in a bit and I'm delighted with my achievement.

"At the time when you train so hard and you are nine minutes away from being a world Champion it's hard not to take home a gold medal. But whenever I step back and look at things I'm going to be happy with my achievement - just at the minute I still find it as a chance missed of being a World Champion."

He has been overwhelmed with the amount of support he has been getting.

"It has been absolutely massive," Jason said.

"When I am away I try to stay off Facebook and Twitter as much as possible and I don't really go on it until after the tournament.

"As soon as I went on it I couldn't even look at my Facebook page too be honest, because there was that much stuff on it."

After a hectic Championships, which involved five tough fights on the way to his silver medal, Quigley is looking forward to plenty of rest over the next two months at home in Ballybofey.

"I'm just looking forward to getting home and having a nice cup of tea and a few biscuits for myself!," he said.

Jason's Dad and coach Conor says he is extremely proud of his sons achievement.

"To win 32 fights and to reach a World Senior Final, to be the only man ever in the history of Irish boxing to do that over 100 years of boxing is tremendous," he said.

"It's hard to believe that it is your own son and from your own club, and it's an absolute credit to the High Performance and everybody involved there as well or it wouldn't be possible."

Conor watched on ringside as his son boxed his way to a World Silver medal.

"When he got to the final and it was against a Kazakhstan I knew he was going to have to give an extra special performance to beat him.

"In fairness he was an outstanding boxer, and to beat those boys here would be hard, but to beat them in Kazakhstan is even harder.

"Jason had a tough, tough week from his first fight where he boxed the World and Olympic Gold medallist right through to the final where his opponent was the Asian Champion.

"To come out with a Silver medal after all of that was a huge achievement and we are all extremely proud of his achievements."

Joe Ward was thrilled to come home with a Bronze medal from an extremely competitive Championships.

"Overall Ireland had a great Championships and we have to be proud of ourselves for what we achieved," the 19-year old said.

"It's one of the toughest tournaments in the World and it is a great achievement to come out with a medal from it and I really enjoyed it."

"It wasn't going to be easy, especially with the head guards off too for this Championships. We all got through and we all put in some good performances and we got rewards."

Hundreds packed into the arrivals hall at Terminal 1 to welcome home the boxers, including World Junior Girls champion Ciara Ginty, who accepted the AIBA World Junior Female Boxer of the Year award in Almaty last night.

"It's huge and it's great to get this far and a great achievement," she said.

"Next up for me is the Youth Olympics next year and hopefully I can get to them. There's a lot of training to be done, up to twice a day every week coming up to big competitions, but hopefully it really pays off."

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