Kian Hedderman’s European U22 tournament ‘has ended before it started’.
The emerging young Limerick talent is the first fighter to fall victim to the IABA’s ‘withdraw if you draw Russia or Belarus’ policy.
The extremely misfortunate Our Lady of Lourdes boxer was selected to represent Ireland in the latest European U22 installment – and was extremely excited about sporting an Irish crest at major international level for the first time in Budva, Montenegro over the coming two weeks.
However, speaking on social media he revealed he drew Russia in the opening round and as a result had to withdraw from the tournament before Day 1.
Irish-boxing.com understands all 15 of the boxers selected to compete have signed a contract agreeing to pullout if Russia or Belarus are pulled out of the draw beside their names.
Hedderman was the only fighter to draw opposition from either country in the first round.
Even more frustrating for the Limerick man is he elected to travel to the European U22’s over entering the National Elite Championships for the first time. The 20-year-old would have been fancied to add Elite honours to the Senior and Under-22 titles he has won in his young career. However, the chance to box for Ireland at a major competition proved too good to turn down, and as was the case with others in his situation, the club pointed out how powerful a European medal can be in terms of securing much-needed sponsorship and you’re senior International aspirations.
“Tough to say my European dream has ended before it started,” he said on social media.
“Due to the Irish Institute of sport & the Irish government have withdrawn any Irish boxer to compete against the Russian Federation if drawn and unfortunately out of 15 team Ireland boxers , I was the first and only boxer to of drawn Russia out of the whole of Europe
“I honestly don’t know what to say my boxing career feels shattered at the moment and I genuinely don’t know what’s next for me
Iv put down the best camp and never been in better shape and sacrificed pools of blood sweat and tears to be number 1 in my country and to be in this competition and I never felt so confident to bring ireland back a medal , I’m short for words and i just can bare the fact that this is happening it’s heartbreaking for me.
“Want to thank all my sponsors and my circle and everyone for all yere messages ,I’m gonna take a break and keep away from my phone for the next bit of while thanks for understanding. I will be back.”