Aidan Walsh followed his big sister Michaela’s lead and became an Olympian this afternoon.
The Monkstown operator’s sibling booked her place on the plane to Tokyo by defeating Stephanie Thour of Sweden around 1:30 this afternoon and Walsh made it a massive day for the family with victory less than an hour later.
The 69kg operator defeated #4 seed and world number 20 Yevheni Barabandy to move into the last four of the qualifying tournament and secure Olympic status in the process.
The welterweight was a sweet scientist in the first round and out-boxed the Ukrainian with relative ease. The remaining two rounds were sloppier, more physical and harder to score. However, Walsh did enough to get the nod and won via 3-2 split decision.
The victory increased the number of Irish boxers traveling to the 2020 Games to six. The stylist joined sister Michaela, Kurt Walker, Aoife O’Rourke, Kellie Harrington and captain Brendan Irvine on the list of Irish boxers going to Tokyo.
A sensational six could become a magnificent seven if Emmett Brennan defeats Liridon Nuha of Sweden in a box off tomorrow.
The 24-year-old switch hitter looked good on his feet and sprinkled the round with some beautifully timed counters. Indeed they were enough to earn him a clean sweep across the baord after a quiet enough round.
Barabandy pushed the pace in the second and it lead to an akward hard to score round. Neither could really land clean on the regular and their was a lot of holding. The hard to score nature was reflected in the scorecards with three of the judges favouring Walsh and two going the way of the Ukranian.
The final stanza was scrappy and physical as again Barabandy pushed forward and the Irish welter happy to counter and hold. Again it was a round that split the judges but more favoured the Commonwealth Games medal winner than his opponent.