Katie Taylor returned to a heroine's welcome at Dublin Airport this evening, as she returned from the World Boxing Championships in Korea with her fifth successive gold medal.
Taylor won an historic fifth lightweight title beating Azerbaijan’s Yana Allekseeva on a unanimous decision (40-36,39-37,39-37) in Jeju.
Shortly after 5.40pm plane BA5969 touched down at Dublin Airport, with Taylor and the rest of the Team Ireland on board.
Taylor was thrilled with the welcome, as she returned with her fifth successive World Championship medal.
“It’s been amazing, I was very emotional coming out through the doors and seeing everyone,” she said.
“The support has been absolutely incredible over the past few days and the reaction from everyone towards the win has been unbelievable as well.
“I’m absolutely privileged to step through those doors as a World champion and to see so many supporters there for me.
“Those people have been there from the very start from the first world Championships, so it’s absolutely amazing.”
Monday’s win saw Taylor match the record of India’s Mary Kom, who claimed five successive AIBA World Elite titles between 2002 and 2010.
The Bray boxer is keen to surpass this achievement.
“I want to become the greatest of all time,” she said.
“The next World Championships is the Olympic qualifiers as well, so I would love to be going into Rio as the reigning World champion.
“I went into this tournament as a World Champion and came back as a World Champion, and hopefully I’m going to hold onto those titles.”
Katie’s dad and trainer Pete says that the competition is getting tough and tougher for Katie to try and retain honours.
“They are getting tougher and tougher and we have to keep raising the bar,” he said.
“Katie still is staying one step ahead of them all. When you are coming back from these Championships you are just hungry for the next one.
“We are looking forward now to Azerbaijan for the European Games, and there’s still a good bit of improvement that Katie can do.
“She has boxed better than she had in Jeju and we just have to keep improving and improving.
“All the girls are raising the bar as well and we have got to keep raising the bar also.
“She got through them all, most of the fights were split decisions in most of the bouts and she still won all the fights unanimous which is indicative of her level of performance."
Katie will now take a break of a fortnight before resuming serious training again.
“Two weeks off I will give her and then it’s back to action,” Pete said.
“We are looking forward to Rio, but we have the Championships next in Azerbaijan in June and we are very much looking forward to that.
“The girl she beat in the final was from Azerbaijan and the competition is going to be tough over there as well."