Earlier today it was confirmed that St Brigid’s Edenderry middleweight Lauren Kelly has been handed a surprise qualification slot for the Youth Olympics – and the 18-year-old triple European bronze medalist won’t be the only Irish fighter in Argentina.
Sligo flyweight Dean Clancy will also compete at the tournament in Buenos Aires this coming October.
The Ballinacarrow flyweight won European Youth silver earlier this year in what is his first year at the age group following a European Junior silver last year.
While his second-place finish in Italy looked to have seen him end up one win short of qualification for the Youth Olympics, he has since been confirmed.
A compact competition with just six slots in the men’s flyweight bracket and limits on the sizes of teams, there has been plenty of rejigging of qualification slots and Clancy has come out with a place in South America – which he had stated was his goal following his Irish Youth title win at the start of the year.
Clancy said that he is “absolutely over to moon. This is a dream come true, I’ve been training hard the past 18 months with the main man himself, my da, wouldn’t be where I am without him.”
“To reach this tournament was my ultimate goal and I finally have. After all the hard work, it pays off.”
Clancy, along with Kelly, Evelyn Igharo, Dearbhla Rooney, Daina Moorehouse, Edward Barrett, and Brandon McCarthy will all compete first at the World Youth Championships in Hungary next month – with Callum Walsh also expected to be confirmed for the competition in Budapest shortly.
Ireland have a strong tradition in the relatively new Olympiad.
The inaugural Games in Singapore in 2010 saw current WBA bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett win light flyweight gold while an injured Joe Ward lost in the quarters to old rival Damien Hooper.
In 2010 in Nanjing, China, Mayo’s Ciara Ginty won lightweight silver, Donegal’s Michael Gallagher claimed heavyweight bronze while Cork middleweight Christine Desmond finished fourth (unlike other major tournaments only one bronze medal is awarded).