Irish women enjoyed great success at the recent European Junior Championships. The Daily Shift bring you more with David Prendergast…
Amy Broadhurst joined Katie Taylor last week as only the second Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing at a European championship.
The 16 year old Dundalk southpaw from Dealgan Boxing Club beat Russian world silver medallist, Svetlana Khilchenko, 16-15 in the Junior Featherweight final.
As well as defeating the hotly tipped Russian, Broadhurst also smashed the world No. 3 in the semi-final 17-7, Germany’s Elizabeth Wohlgomouth.
Broadhurst wasn’t the only Irish success story at the games which were held in Poland. Ennis’s Sally Carrig and Connemara’s Niamh Folan won bronze in their respective divisions to further strengthen Ireland’s reputation as a focal point for the future of female boxing.
Fittingly, Katie Taylor was also named IABA Boxer of the Year the same night Broadhurst landed her European crown. Taylor had an unforgettable 2012, winning her third world title and an Olympic gold medal. She was also crowned Female Boxer of the London Games and in October landed an historic third successive AIBA Female Boxer of the Year award.
Ireland are expected to find out at the end of this month if their bid to host the 2013 European Women’s Championship was successful. Should the IABA’s bid be approved Taylor will be gunning for her sixth European title in front of a home crowd. The championships are due to take place in October.
Taylor has only recently announced she is to stay on as an amateur and try and defend her gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. With this latest success at the European Junior championships, it looks certain she won’t be the only female Irish boxer we will be cheering on in four years time.
Vitally, such was the success of women’s boxing at the London Games that the president of the IABA, Wu Ching-Kuo, is determined to increase the number of female boxers for the 2016 Games in Rio from 36 to 72.
However for this to happen, more men’s weight classes would have to be cut as the IOC is determined not to increase the overall numbers of boxers involved in the Olympics.