Carly McNaul handed Olympic 2020 qualifying chance

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Carly McNaul has been handed an Olympic lifeline.

The Belfast fighter may have felt her Tokyo chances had gone when she wasn’t selected as part of the 13 person team to travel to London next week for the Olympic Qualifiers.

The Commonwealth Games silver medalist lost out in terms of selection to the decorated, experienced and now very unfortunate Ceire Smith, but an injury to the reigning National Elite flyweight champion has given McNaul a Tokyo chance.

McNaul will now represent Ireland in the qualifying tournament set for the Copper Box in London and due to play out in the third week of March.

Smith, a World Championship last 16 fighter, suffered a thumb injury and as a result will not travel to London.

Ceire Smith suffers unfortunate injury

The Cavan fighter may recover in time for the world qualifiers and may get the opportunity to fulfill her Olympic dream via that tournament in Paris.

However, at this moment in time all the flyweight attention is switched to McNaul a 30-year-old, who fights out of the Ormeau Road club.

McNaul was mid prep for what looked a mouthwatering Ulster Elite decider when she received the news.

McNaul was due to face Immaculata’s Caitlin Fryers in the Ulster Hall tonight, but instead has flown out to Assisi to join the Irish team on their final training camp.

Revised Irish Team for the Olympic Qualifiers in London:

Carly McNaul (51kg)

Michaela Walsh (57kg)

Kellie Harrington (60kg)

Christina Desmond (69kg),

Aoife O’Rourke (75kg)

Brendan Irvine (52kg)

Kurt Walker (57kg)

George Bates (63kg)

Aidan Walsh (69kg)

Michael Nevin (75kg)

Emmett Brennan (81kg)

Kirill Afanasev  (91kg)

Dean Gardinder (91+kg).


Jonny Stapleton 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: