Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Conlan eager to eclipse Olympic hero Barnes

Michael Conlan is hoping to make an impact at the Commonweath Youth Games in India

Michael Conlan watched with pride and excitement as Ireland’s boxers landed three medals at the Beijing Olympics.

In particular the Belfast teenager was delighted to see Paddy Barnes take bronze and wants to enjoy his own international success.

Conlan is one of five boxers heading to India on Wednesday for the Commonwealth Youth Games, representing Northern Ireland along with Neil Walker, Paul Hyland, Sean Duffy and Conor Coyle among other athletes.

The brother of four-times Ulster senior flyweight champion Jamie, the St John Bosco lad certainly doesn’t lack confidence, believing that one day he can eclipse fellow light-flyweight Barnes.

“I want to be going back to India for the main Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the London Olympics,” he said.

“Watching Paddy at the Olympics was an inspiration and when I was watching it I just said to myself that’s where I want to be, I want a chance at that.

“And I believe that I have the boxing skill to get to that standard — I can do even better.”

Conlan, a pupil at Corpus Christi, along with the rest of the team has certainly been putting in the hard work and watching his diet.

“I’m up running at 6am every morning before going home for some breakfast and then heading off to school and then after school it’s training and homework.

“All the lads have worked very hard in training and we’re all looking forward to going there and doing our best to get medals.”

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