Aidan Walsh forced to withdraw from Olympic semi final

Aidan Walsh has been forced by injury to withdraw from his Olympic Games semi-final bout.

The Olympic bronze medalist was set to fight for a place in the welterweight final in Tokyo in the early hours of Sunday morning [Irish time].

However, an ankle injury suffered while celebrating his bronze-securing win over Mauritian Merven Clair has forced him to withdraw.

When the 4-1 split decision in his favour was announced, an ecstatic Walsh jumped for joy and landed awkwardly on his ankle. While the adrenaline-pumped fighter initially walked off the stumble, he later left the Kokugikan Arena in a wheelchair.

Reports suggest a ‘slight strain’ wouldn’t prevent the Belfast 24-year-old from fighting Team GB’s Pat McCormack for silver at the very least but it was confirmed today Walsh has pulled out of the final four battle.

He will take home his bronze medal which he won in the quarter-final bout, becoming the 16th Irish boxer to bring home a medal from the Olympic Games.

Irish boxing supremo Bernard Dunne said: “What Aidan did this week is an incredible achievement.

“His performance throughout the tournament has been outstanding. And it is great to see him write his name in the annals of Irish sport.

“Just over two years ago we selected Aidan for his first major championship, and over the past few months that potential that we had identified has grown and developed into a world class performance, that reflects greatly on the level of preparation he has put in ahead of these Games.

“These are a unique Games, and I’m really impressed with the team itself. They’ve all been rallying around each other, and I know that we will continue to do so. We have two more boxers hoping to win some medals, in Kellie and Kurt, and we will collectively make sure that they are ready.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com