9TH WORLD WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS AND OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS LOOM

Team Ireland are gearing up for a crucial test in Central Asia.

The World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers begin in Astana, Kazakhstan in under two weeks.

The top four boxers (semi-finalists) in each of the three Olympic weights for women – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – qualify for Rio.

The other seven weights will be targeting medals at the 9th edition of the tournament.

Donna Barr, Ceire Smith, Dervla Duffy, Moira McElligot, Kelly Harrington, Grainne Walsh and Christina Desmond finished up a training camp at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield last weekend.

The squad trained and sparred with Great Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Sweden.

Katie Taylor has been training and sparring with Russian southpaw Sofya Ochigava at the Irish Institute of Sport in Abbotstown since last Tuesday.

The Irish Elite men’s squad, London 2012 finalists Taylor and Ochigava, Great Britain, India and Kazakhstan are in Abbotstown at a world class IABA hosted training camp. Germany are due to arrive tomorrow.

All five nations have qualified 30 boxers for Rio 2016 so far.

The World Women’s Championships begin on May 19. Thirty lightweight bouts will be decided on Day 1 of the tournament, according to the official website. Click here.

Team Ireland leave for Kazakhstan on Friday.

Meantime, Ireland meet Kazakhstan in a test match at the National Stadium on Wednesday night. Admission is €5 for adults and children are free.

(In the event of boxers making the qualification standard for Rio 2016 at the Continental qualifiers and also making the standard again – qualifying for the same Olympics twice – at the World Women’s Championships, the World places prevail and the places earned through the Continental qualifiers go back to the winners (or both) of the 3rd and 4th place box-offs at the Continental qualifiers.

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