Michael O’Reilly qualifies for Rio and guaranteed bronze in Baku
Joins Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Joe Ward and four other Irish boxers on the plane
Michael O’Reilly will compete in the Rio Olympics after a quarter-final win in Baku on Thursday. Photograph: Inpho
Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly has joined Ireland’s team of seven boxers on the plane to Rio in August.
The Portlaoise middleweight made the Olympic qualification after earning a unanimous decision (29-28,29-28,29-28) over Azerbaijan’s Shinebayor Narmandakh in the quarter-finals of the World Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan.
O’Reilly will now join Katie Taylor, the only Irish woman to have qualified, two times medal winner Paddy Barnes, Brendan Irvine, Michael Conlan, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward on the plane to Rio.
The top five middleweights in Baku qualify for Rio with O’Reilly now into the final four. O’Reilly, who would now be considered a decent hope of winning a medal in August, was the top seed in Baku.
Super-heavyweight Dean Gardiner fights on Friday and is two wins away from qualifying for the 2016 Games. Only the gold medal will get him to Rio.
“Congratulations to Michael and our coaches in staff in Baku on a magnificent achievement,” said Pat Ryan, President of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA).
“This success is testament to how our clubs are developing under the auspices and guidance of the National Association.”