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Irish Olympic Hopefuls Learn First Round Qualifier Fate

The full extent of the path to Paris has yet to be fully revealed but Team Ireland are aware of the first potential pothole and how many hurdles stand between them and Olympic qualification.

Boxers Daina Moorehouse (50kg), Jennifer Lehane (54kg), Grainne Walsh (66kg) Sean Mari (51kg), Aidan Walsh (71kg), Kelyn Cassidy (80kg), and Martin McDonagh (92+kg) will vie to book their tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the final Olympic tournament in Bangkok over the next week.

The seven-strong team learned their first fight faith this morning and how many victories they will need to get a golden ticket.

More will be revealed when the fill draw sheets are shared but for now, they have a first-up opponent to focus on.

Daina Moorehouse

The Enniskerry BC talent has a bye to the Round of 32, and considering, that there are 34 competitors in her weight class needs three wins to realize her Olympic dream.

First up for the Wicklow star is Anush Grigoryan of Armenia, an experienced fighter who has a defeat to Carly McNaul on her slate and lost to European gold medalist Shannon Sweeney earlier this year.

Jennifer Lehane

Similarly, Lehane has free passage to the last 32 and also needs three wins to become an Olympian.

The ever-improving qualified teacher steps somewhat into the unknown for her first fight, her campaign begins against Puerto Rico’s Lopez.

Grainne Walsh

It’s straight in for Offally’s Walsh. The price for qualification is four wins for the St Mary’s Tallaght fighter, who begins in the Round of 64 against Ngoc Mai Hoang of Vietnam.

Sean Mari

Monkstown’s Mari gloves off his campaign against Muhammad Faheem of Pakistan. Like Walsh the light flyweight needs his hand raised on three occasions to join his clubmate Jack Marley and the rest as qualified for Paris.

Aidan Walsh

Tokyo bronze medal winner, Walsh may need as many as five wins to qualify in the light middleweight category, although there is a scenario where four could do it. for the Belfast man. He starts against 31-year-old Boniface Maina, Kenya’s representative at the weight.

Kelynn Cassidy

Waterford’s Cassidy looks set to have the longest trek to qualification.

The St Paul’s light heavyweight Olympic toll is five victories. Another fighter who has come so close to qualifying in the two previous tournaments, Cassidy will be fancied to defeat Delil Dadaev, a 21-year-old German, who Dublin Docklands underage starlet, James Whelan defeated in the European U22’s last year.

28 June 2023; Kelyn Cassidy of Ireland reacts after losing to Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine after their Men’s 80kg quarter final bout against Gianluigi Malanga of Italy at the Nowy Targ Arena during the European Games 2023 in Krakow, Poland. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Martin McDonagh

Galway heavyweight McDonagh could be an out-of-the-blue Olympian if manages three wins.

The fast-tracked 21-year-old begins in the Round of 32 against Ngoc of Vietnam.


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