The family of Ireland's latest Olympic star has told of their pride and disbelief after Aidan Walsh's impressive win in Tokyo this morning in Japan.
The Belfast Boxer is guaranteed a medal after his victory over Mauritius’ Merven Clair via split decision in today’s welterweight quarter-final with a scorecard of 29-28, 28-29, and three of 30-27.
Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, the boxer's father, Damian Walsh said he had "no doubt in his mind" that Aidan would triumph and that his club and family are very proud.
“I am very proud this morning, all the years of hard work that ourselves, Aidan, the club, his club coach, myself, Paul Johnson, and Team Ireland have all got behind him and believed that he could achieve this and go for the gold medal.
"He's the kind of guy who would just want to do things his way, do it the right way, but as we always say, if you're going to do it, do it right.
"His motto is get in get the job done," said the proud father.
“But in terms of Aidan and the way he performs, he's very humble, very nice. The kind of guy who would say hello to anyone in the street.
"Aidan's way is a very nice way. Seeing Aidan now with the bronze medal in the bag, and his sister there to support him all the way and the family back home to support him all the way, we're very proud of him," said Mr Walsh.
“I can't believe it, I'm so, so pleased, I'm so proud of him. I was very, very nervous (watching the match), but he got the win and now I'm over the moon that it's over," said Aidan's mother, Martine.
Aidan's coach of the last five years, Paul Johnson, said that after years of dedication and sacrifice, the Olympic victory is almost a relief.
“It's almost like a pressure relief - myself and his dad have been with him and Michaela for the last five years, Damian's been there longer, and just the dedication, the commitment that these two young people put into their sport.
"They sacrifice so much and they deserve the highest achievements and Aidan today has won that medal, but I know that he will aim for gold.
"His sister will be there in his corner," said Mr Johnson.
Aidan's sister, Michaela, is a fellow Olympic boxer competing for Team Ireland in the flyweight division in Japan and posted her delight on social media after this morning's win.
Me and my brother Aidan have trained together and grown together our whole lives. When me and him qualified for the Olympic Games on the same day, it was the most special day of my life, but watching him win an Olympic medal brings a joy to me I’ve never felt. That’s my baby bro!— Michaela Walsh (@michaelaw57) July 30, 2021
"Me and my brother Aidan have trained together and grown together our whole lives.
"When me and him qualified for the Olympic Games on the same day, it was the most special day of my life, but watching him win an Olympic medal brings a joy to me I’ve never felt. That’s my baby bro!" she said.
Medals await this Sunday in boxing's quarter-final with Kellie Harrington and fellow Ulster man Kurt Walker chasing a podium finish too.