Barnes turns on power to close on Olympic return

Paddy Barnes joined David Oliver Joyce, Adam Nolan and Tommy McCarthy in the quarter-finals of the AIBA European Olympic qualifying event with an inside the distance win in Trabzon, Turkey yesterday.

Both Barnes, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, and Joyce, are both just one win away from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics following yesterday’s victories as semi-final finishes in both the light-flyweight and lightweight classes will book tickets for the 30th Olympiad.

Barnes was trailing 4-2 at the end of the first round against Istvan Ungvari, but forced the Hungarian light-fly into a standing count in round two and the ref stopped the contest.

He now faces Romania’s Stefan Caslarov, who reached the quarter-finals of the IABA-hosted 2011 European Youth Championships at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin, in today’s 49kg quarter-final.

David Oliver Joyce produced a brilliant performance. The St Michael’s Athy lightweight posted a comprehensive 24-14 win over Germany’s Arthur Bril.

Joyce was 15-10 up going into the final round and racked up another 10 points in the final frame.

He now meets 2010 Olympic Youth champion Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania, who he sparred with at Ireland’s recent training camp in the Ukraine, in the last eight.

Adam Nolan and Tommy McCarthy will also be involved in quarter-final bouts today. Nolan needs to reach the welterweight final to secure Olympic qualification.

McCarthy must win gold to qualify as there is only one Olympic place left for Europe in the heavyweight division.

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