Harrington returns from injury as Ireland name a strong squad for Standja Multi Nations

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Ireland will send a 20-strong male and female squad to this month’s Strandja Multi-Nations in Bulgaria.

The 71st edition of the tournament begins on January 20 in the build-up to the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in London next March.

Current European Elite champions Kurt Walker and Aoife O’Rourke line out at feather and middle.

Former World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington returns from a hand injury for her first competitive outing since the European Games in Belarus last June.

Team Ireland are doubling up in seven of the thirteen Olympic limits for men and women for Sofia.

The squad includes current National Elite champions Ceira Smith, Michaela Walsh, Amy Broadhurst, Christina Desmond, Aoife O’Rourke, Jude Gallagher, Dean Clancy, George Bates, Aidan Walsh, Emmett Brennan, Kiril Afanasev and Ken Okungbowa.

Boxing begins on January 21 in Sofia.

Strandja Multi-Nations Sofia, Bulgaria January 2o/25

Irish squad

Female

51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan) and Carly McNaul (Holy Family)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s) and Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s) and Grainne Walsh (Spartacus)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)

Male

52kg Jude Gallagher (Two Castles)

57kg Kurt Walker (Canal) and Dean Clancy (Sean McDermott)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s) and Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) and Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)

91kg+ Kenny Ogunbowa (Athlone) or Antoine O’Griofa (Celtic Eagles)

High Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk, Eoin Pluck

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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