Belfast Telegraph

I'll win gold for my baby girl, says new dad Conlan

By David Kelly and Joanne Sweeney

Commonwealth Games champion Michael Conlan is aiming to win an Olympic gold medal for his new baby girl.

The Belfast boxer left his daughter early this morning less than 48 hours after her birth to fly to Italy to box for his team Italia Thunder in the World Series of Boxing, which is his first route to qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Conlan and his partner Shauna Olali became parents to their as yet unnamed 7lb 11oz baby on Monday afternoon.

The first-time dad - who won gold in last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - told the Belfast Telegraph last night that he found the experience to be "emotional and amazing" but also exhausting.

"I haven't slept for two days, waiting for the wee one to be born.

"I'm shattered but I'll be alright for the weekend," said the 23-year-old.

"It was such an emotional and amazing experience, a day I'll never forget.

"Shauna was great the whole way through - women are far stronger than men!"

The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist tweeted his good news to his fans. Now he and fellow Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes are in Italy for their bouts at the weekend, with Michael's dad John in their corner.

Conlan revealed that he had to plan training in between supporting his partner in hospital. "It'll be tough being away in Italy but this fight is very important and I have to do it," he added. "Now having my daughter, it'll make me even more motivated in the fight.

"It makes getting to Rio even more important because I want her and Shauna to be there in Rio to see me on the Olympic rostrum with the gold medal."

Belfast Telegraph

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