Broadhurst and O'Rourke gunning for gold after both progress to World Boxing finals

The pair become just the third and fourth Irish female boxers - after Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington - to progress to a decider after semi-final wins in Istanbul
Broadhurst and O'Rourke gunning for gold after both progress to World Boxing finals

Final fantasy: Ireland's Amy Broadhurst celebrates winning her semi-final in Istanbul. Pic: INPHO/Aleksandar Djorovic

Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke will fly the flag for Ireland all the way to the finals after both fighters progressed to deciding bouts at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul.

The progress of the pair means marks the first time in history that the country has had two fighters with gold in their sights at the same World Championships. 

Broadhurst has qualified for the light welterweight (60-63kg) final while O"Rourke will be gunning for gold in the 70kg final.

Broadhurst and O'Rourke become, respectively, just the third and fourth Irish female boxers - after Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington - to progress to a decider at the global tournament.

As well as the history and titles at stake in Istanbul, there is significant prize money on the line. Broadhurst and O'Rourke are now guaranteed at least €43,000 each for progressing to the final and should they find themselves top of the podium Thursday evening, that pay cheque would balloon to €86,000 each.

Just too good: Ireland's Lisa O'Rourke celebrates semi-final victory over Turkey's Sema Caliskan.
Just too good: Ireland's Lisa O'Rourke celebrates semi-final victory over Turkey's Sema Caliskan.

Broadhurst's performance in Turkey, as the 25-year-old continues her strong and steady growth and enters her prime in what is her fifth World Championships, could be classified as almost expected, a talent fulfilling potential that has been clear for some time. 

On the flip side, O'Rourke, who left her teenage years behind just a week ago when she turned 20, has been a revelation in Istanbul. 

Dundalk fighter Broadhurst defeated Parveen Hooda of India by a 4-1 split (30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in a thrilling fight and will now meet Algeria's Imane Khelif in the final on Thursday evening, after her win over Chelsey Heijnen from the Netherlands. Khelif was one of Harrington's victims in Tokyo last year when she lost an Olympic quarter-final bout to the Dubliner. 

O’Rourke meanwhile, in her World Championships debut, looked to be facing a daunting task as she went up against a home favourite in the shape of Turkey's Sema Caliskan in Wednesday's 70kg semi-final.

However the 20-year-old, whose older sister Lisa represented Ireland at last summer's Olympics, made light of any advantages Caliskan may have had on familiar turf as O'Rourke recovered from a slow start, when she dropped the opening round, to battle her way back into the bout, dominating the second and then outclassing her rival in a tense final round claiming a unanimous 5-0 win on the judges' scorecards (30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Mozambique's Helena Alcinda awaits O'Rourke in Thursday's final, the African having already created her own history by progressing in Turkey — in the process becoming her country's first ever World Championships medalist.

Both Irish fighters are now guaranteed silver but will be eyeing joining Taylor and Harrington as the only Irish women to top a world podium. 

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