There’s close, there is agonisingly close then there is Kelyn Cassidy close!
The Waterford fighter came as near as you can get to a European Games medal, Olympic qualification, and one of the best wins in recent Irish boxing history earlier this week in Poland.
However, a disastrous last round cost him dear.
The Deise dancer was on course to shock Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khysniak – an Olympic silver medalist, world champion and multiple European champion.
Cassidy had won the first round of their quarter-final 3-2 and took the second stanza across the board. It meant all he had to do was avoid being stopped or a disaster in the final round to ensure a historic win.
However, disaster did strike. Under pressure from a very aggressive world-class operator, Cassidy began to look to hold in the final session.
It resulted in him having a point deducted and that aligned with the fact he was given also a somewhat harsh standing count cost him the win, a medal, and a place at Paris 2024.
It will be a massive disappointment for the Saviours Crystal star but he should take confidence from his display against an experienced and quality operator.
The 25-year-old proved he is Olympic qualification worthy with his performances in Poland over the week and will be confident of getting over the line in one of the two 2024 qualifiers.