Dom O’Rourke, President of the Irish Boxing Association, has hailed the contribution of Ireland’s clubs and coaches to what has been a remarkable haul of medals in international competition in 2018.
Since April of this year, Irish boxing has won 37 medals — eight gold,11 silver and 18 bronze — in 183 days of competition in six World and European youth, junior and schoolboy/girl tournaments.
Ireland’s competitors surpassed themselves at the European Junior Championships in Anapa, Russia this week, claiming 13 medals, including two golds.
Tipperary’s Ellie Mai-Gartland and Kildare’s Lauren Dempsey topped the bantam and feather podiums at the Black Sea resort 24 hours before Leitrim’s Dearbhla Rooney won bronze at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.
The clubs and their coaches deserve enormous credit for the medals won this year. They have played a crucial role in the success of our young boxers in World and European competition,” said O’Rourke, who was also in Russia.
Anna Moore, Irish team manager in Anapa with Joe Hennigan, admitted it was an emotional week for the squad who returned home yesterday: “We shed tears of joy and we shed tears of sorrow,” said Moore. “Everyone of our squad boxed their hearts out for their country in Russia.”
Ireland’s 25-strong squad finished in third spot in the medals table behind England and table toppers Russia at the 31-nation competition.
Meanwhile, the focus will now switch to male and female Elite competition at the AIBA World Women’s Championships in India and the Men’s EU Elite Championships in Spain next month.
Joe Ward, the current European Elite champion and Kellie Harrington, like Ward a World Elite finalist, will lead the charge as Irish boxing seeks to smash through the 40-medal mark for 2018.