Belfast boxer and Olympic bronze medallist Aidan Walsh arrived back in Ireland yesterday to cheering crowds ahead of “pigging out” on a takeaway with his girlfriend.
Aidan, who secured third in the welterweight contest, was forced to withdraw from the semi-final in Tokyo after sustaining a fractured foot and an ankle injury when jumping for joy following his win in the last eight.
“I have to pinch myself because I’ve come so far in such a short time. All I needed was the opportunity,” said the 24-year-old, who is also looking forward to some rest and recuperation.
“I’m going to go to my caravan with my girlfriend, have a Chinese and a Coke, lots of chocolate and lots of sweets — I haven’t had sweets in ages — and just pig out. I can’t wait.”
He told RTE his arrival in Dublin Airport had been “surreal to be honest, just because we’ve been living away for six weeks now in a bubble”.
“But this is amazing. I don’t know, I feel extremely lucky to be standing here,” he said.
Aidan was accompanied by Irish Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington (31) who became only the second Irish female boxer to win a medal at the Games after capturing women’s lightweight gold with a unanimous decision win over Beatriz Ferreira in a hard-fought final on the last day of the Games.