| 2.4°C Belfast

Four Ulster boxers to attend European qualifiers for Tokyo Olympics

Close

Brendan Irvine is among four Ulster boxers heading to the European Olympic qualifiers in London next month

Brendan Irvine is among four Ulster boxers heading to the European Olympic qualifiers in London next month

Brendan Irvine is among four Ulster boxers heading to the European Olympic qualifiers in London next month

Four Ulster boxers have been named in the Ireland team for next month's European qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Brendan Irvine, Kurt Walker, Aidan Walsh and Michaela Walsh are all part of the 13-strong team that will head to London for the qualifiers on March 13.

Flyweight Irvine is aiming to reach his second Olympics having competed at Rio in 2016, with the Walsh siblings and Walker gunning for their first Games.

2018 Commonwealth silver medallist Aidan will compete at welterweight level, while sister Michaela, a two-time Commonwealth silver medallist herself, is in the featherweight category.

Former European bantamweight champion and 2018 Commonwealth silver medal winner Walker will also be competing at featherweight in the qualifiers.

There are 77 places up for grabs in London, with 50 being given to male competitors and 27 to female hopefuls across eight male weight divisions and five female.

"We have some really good athletes pushing each other for places, so it has been a challenge to select our squad, but we have picked the best team to compete at the first qualifier in London," said IABA high performance director Bernard Dunne.

"Preparations have gone well so far, and we head to Italy on Monday for a sparring camp which will then lead us into the qualifier.

"They've worked extremely hard to get to this point, so if they perform to the best of their ability in London, then that is all we can ask of them."

For those who fail to qualify from the tournament in London, there will be one final qualifier in Paris in May where unqualified competitors from around the world will compete for the final few slots.

Belfast Telegraph