A double gold medal sweep at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul at the women’s World Boxing Championships has thrust Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke into Irish boxing history.
In an astonishing 30 minutes of competition, Broadhurst (25) from Co Louth and Co Roscommon native O’Rourke overcame the odds to win successive finals on the last night of the championships.
Broadhurst was scheduled to compete fourth on the evening card and O’Rourke fifth. Neither had been to a world final before and O’Rourke, who turned 20 last weekend in Turkey, had never before been to a senior world championship.
The rise of O’Rourke, who has played intercounty GAA for Roscommon, has been meteoric. A European silver medallist at U16 and U18 level, her talent and potential had always been known, but few had sensed she could come so far so soon.
It was Broadhurst who set the tone for Ireland’s scarcely believable half hour of golden gloves as she unanimously won her light welterweight (60-63 kg) bout against a much taller and awkward opponent, Imane Khelif from Algeria.
O’Rourke entered the ring as an elated Broadhurst was leaving and although the light middleweight (66-70kg) contest against the heavy hitting Mozambique athlete Alcinda Panguane was a much tighter bout, O’Rourke’s athleticism and movement saw her through to a 4-1 victory.
Despite the quality of the boxers, the gold medals were unexpected as the championships are considered more difficult than the Olympic Games. They followed in the footsteps of Katie Taylor and Kellie Harrington, and also earned $100,000 in what was the first year the amateur competition offered prize money.