Aidan Walsh's celebration injury costs him chance to fight for Olympic final

Walsh will have to settle for the bronze medal he won on Friday, which he celebrated by leaping into the air before going over on his ankle
Aidan Walsh's celebration injury costs him chance to fight for Olympic final

Aidan Walsh celebrated his Olympic quarter-final victory by leaping into the air before going over on his ankle. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Olympic medal-winner Aidan Walsh will not get to fight for gold or silver after his celebration injury forced him to withdraw.

The Belfast welterweight will have to settle for the bronze medal he won on Friday, which he celebrated by leaping into the air before going over on his ankle. 

He left the Ryoguku Kogukican venue in a wheelchair shortly after, although a Team Ireland put it that the boxer had “a slight sprain after his fight but is looking forward to fighting on Sunday”.

Walsh was due to fight British top seed Pat McCormack in his semi-final on Sunday morning at 4am (Irish time) and waited to give himself every opportunity to do so. 

However, subsequent scans and medical reviews have since ruled out this possibility. 

Walsh's withdrawal leaves two Irish boxers still in contention for Olympic medals. Kurt Walker fights Team USA's Duke Ragan on Sunday at 3.30am (Irish time), while Kellie Harrington will face Algeria’s Imane Khelif on Tuesday at 4.35am.

While Walsh's Olympics end prematurely in disappointment, he will have more than ample consolation when he takes to the podium after Tuesday's welterweight final - a positive team leader Bernard Dunne was keen to focus on.

“What Aidan did this week is an incredible achievement, his performance throughout the tournament has been outstanding, and it is great to see him write his name in the annals of Irish sport,” said Dunne.

“Just over two years ago we selected Aidan for his first major championship, and over the past few months that potential that we had identified has grown and developed into a world-class performance that reflects greatly on the level of preparation he has put in ahead of these Games. 

“These are a unique Games, and I’m really impressed with the team itself. They’ve all been rallying around each other, and I know that we will continue to do so. 

“We have two more boxers hoping to win some medals, in Kellie and Kurt, and we will collectively make sure that they are ready.” 

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