Barnes and Conlan focused on star performances not star names
By Jonny Stapleton
NOT even Wimbledon finalist Andy Murray could distract Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan from training as they are forced to wait to make their London 2012 bows.
The Belfast little men got a welcome bye into the last 16 of the and flyweight and light flyweight divisions of the Games, but as a result have had to hang around till the weekend to taste Olympic action.
Whilst John Joe Nevin, Darren O’Neill and Adam Nolan have all traded
leather and got Ireland off to a winning start Beijing Bronze medallist Barnes and his 20 year old team mate have been enjoying what Kenny Egan described as the ‘incomprehensible world’ that is the Olympic village.
However, despite being surrounded by stars of the sporting world and potential distractions the pair have remained focused on the task at hand- and have kept the cocooned performance mindset the High Performance were intent on creating.
A media ban means neither Barnes or Conlan could discuss their prolonged wait, but inside man, professional fighter and Conlan’s big brother Jamie Conlan shed some light on the pairs mindset this week.
“I have been talking to Michael and Paddy in particular and everything seems to be great. Confidence is sky high. The haven’t a worry in the world everything is about their preparation and this 30 seconds at a time they are all talking about,” Conlan explained.
“The seem to be enjoying themselves, but they are fully focused. They were telling me they seen Andy Murray when they were out running the other day and they said Andy Murray couldn’t stop them training. They just gave him a tumbs up and remained focused on what they were doing. The boys are busting to go and hopefully it works out for them on the day.”
Jamie Conlan, who fights in Belfast on Eddie Hearn’s September 22 card, also dismissed suggestions that London 2012 will prove platform for potential Rio 2016 medal success for his little brother. The Belfast fly claims his brother already proved he can compete at the
highest level and is capable of winning a medal.
“He proved in the World championships it is not too soon for him and he is a contender in the Olympics. On his day he is hard to beat because what ever you do he can match it. He exploits weaknesses and adjusts his style accordingly. If he performs to his best on the day I believe he can medal.”