Prize money a major boost for Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke

O’Rourke must decide how county football with Roscommon fits into boxing career

Amy Broadhurst said she had dreamed of winning the world championships since she "was a wee girl and sometimes it felt like it was never going to happen because of things you had to overcome."

While neither she nor Lisa O’Rourke ever entered ‘amateur’ boxing for the money as there was none on offer before this year, both will face into the next two years preparation for qualification and competition in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in better financial condition than any boxers who came before them.

Funding their Olympic pathway, which is far from straightforward in boxing, will not be something the pair will have to overcome.

The gold medal wins in Istanbul earned them €94,000 ($100,000). That prize money, introduced at this year's World Championships for the first time, will add to the top Sport Ireland annual funding of €40,000, which the two world champions will almost instantly be entitled to draw down.

Broadhurst, in the Sport Ireland 2022 Carding Scheme, is already on world class funding of €25,000, although that will now increase. Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington, Aidan Walsh, a Tokyo Olympic bronze medal winner, his sister Michaela and Aoife O'Rourke are all currently on podium funding of €40,000.

Lisa will now join her sister Tokyo Olympian Aoife on the top level of funding available making it a family affair with the Walsh brother and sister teams and the O’Rourke sisters all looking towards the next two years leading to Paris.

“We have to talk with the coaches. They will be going on funding straight away,” said a Sport Ireland official. “First, we have to talk to them to find out what their plans are just to get it signed off. It is a small process. There are no issues. There will be no delay and it will happen straight away.”

Team Ireland arrives back from the historic Istanbul championships to Dublin this afternoon (Saturday).

“I believe I still need days to understand what I did today,” said Broadhurst after her final. “I have been dreaming about this moment since my childhood and I worked almost 20 years to win a big championship. I had to be patient today and not make any mistakes against the counter-attacking Algerian.

“I felt in the second round that my strategy worked and I knew that I could make it. I don’t remember what my coach Zaur Antia told me in the second break but I gave it everything in the third.”

Surprise

O’Rourke, who must now decide how her county football with Roscommon GAA fits into a fulltime boxing career, if that is even possible. Her response to becoming world champion at 20 years-old was one of surprise.

"I can't find any words now . . . I won the EUBC European Under-22 Boxing Championships in Croatia this March, but this is something unexpected for me," she said. "It's just been such a championship. Like, I've enjoyed every minute of it. To get on top of the podium is something else. Class. I'm only 20-years-old. I didn't think I'd get up on top of the podium that quick.

"The coaches have been brilliant and all the supporters and the High Performance in Ireland have all been top class. And of course, my club coach from Olympic Club in Galway, Mike Mongan, have been all brilliant and my sister on the team as well. Just can't complain at all. My plan is always to be on the top of the podium but I am over the moon after this success.

In O’Rourke, Broadhurst and Kellie Harrington, Ireland could have another first in three world championship winners travelling to the next Olympics.