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Coronavirus clear- IABA President urges Team Ireland to focus on qualifiers

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Team Ireland can’t get caught up in Coronavirus confusion according to IABA President Dominic O’Rourke.

The 13 strong Irish Team selected for the European leg of the Olympic qualifiers returned home early from their final training camp in Assisi, Italy as a precaution.

All involved have been tested and passed clear, but that may not be the end of the Coronavirus impact.

The virus has caused the cancellation of numerous sporting events around the world at present – and there are those wondering if the Olympics in Tokyo will be effected in a similar manner.

Fears the Olympics – scheduled to run from July 24-August 9 – are under threat continue to grow. Indeed, some suggest that if things escalate the March qualifiers may be in jeopardy. A decision whether the Games will go ahead will be made in late May.

IABA President O’Rourke admits it is something the organisation have to keep in mind, but claims all the team can do is to focus on London and March for now.

“It’s definitely in the back of your head,” O’Rourke told the Irish News.

“It is a worrying time for the Olympics, but all we can do is focus on what we have in front of us. We have a qualifier coming up in March, everything else is outside our control. We can’t control what’s going to happen with the Olympics.

“If you listen to the news, they say it’s going to escalate. Everybody’s worried about it, but all we can do is stay focused on the job in hand.”

“We’re heading to London for a qualifier and that’s all that’s in our mind at the moment, rather than thinking about what might happen in July or August. Every team is the same I’m sure.”

“This might cease or it might get worse, nobody actually knows.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: