Category: Archive

Five boxers to represent Ireland at Beijing Games

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The trio brought the number of Irish fighters headed for the Beijing Games in August to five by virtue of their semi-final victories at the last Olympic qualifying tournament for Europe, in Athens. All three went on to win gold medals in Saturday’s finals in the Greek capital.
Light flyweight Paddy Barnes from Belfast and Cavan bantamweight John Joe Nevin made the Games squad earlier after the world championships in Chicago and the first European qualifying event in Italy two month ago.
Irish captain Egan, who like Sutherland and Joyce came up short both in Chicago and Italy, outclassed German light heavyweight Gottlieb Weiss 21-11 in the semis to qualify for the Olympics.
“I had a great second round and I pushed on from there. It will take a while for all this to sink in yet and I am absolutely thrilled with this win,” Egan said.
In the final the next day, the Neilstown veteran topped Swede Kennedy Katende 15-10 in a close match. Egan had beaten Italian Allessandro Sinacore (23-14) and Holland’s Daniel Kool (13-4) en route to the semis.
Sutherland, St. Saviours’ experienced middleweight, booked his ticket for Beijing after his Moldovan opponent Victor Cotiujanschii retired in the third stanza of their four-round semifinal. It was almost academic as the Dubliner led 21-7 at that point.
He then clinched a gold medal when his French foe Jean-Michael Raymond of France retired in the second stanza with Sutherland ahead 8-2.
In the preliminary round, Sutherland saw off Finish entrant Niko Jokinen (5-0), Norway’s Eneste Glodi (27-7) and Zoran Mitrovic of Serbia (38-17), in that order.
Meanwhile, Joyce, a light welterweight from St. Michael’s Athy, defeated Germany’s Sipahi Harun 27-12 in the semis to secure his passage to China.
“I would like to dedicate this victory to [IABA president] Dominic O’Rourke and the entire High Performance team and the Irish Sports Council who have been so good to us down through the years,” said Joyce.
His final against Egidijus Kavaliauskas lasted less than a round before the Lithuanian retired injured with the scoring even at 2-2.
Joyce bested Zdenek Chladek of the Czech Republic (18-8) and the host nation’s Gkevorgk Gkalstian 41-37 on a count-back after a 18-18 tie, in the preliminaries.
This will be the largest Irish boxing contingent to the Olympics in recent years. Current middleweight pro Andy Lee was the lone Irish qualifier in 2004, as was Michael Roche in 2000.
Four boxers represented Ireland in Atlanta 12 years ago.

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