11 April 2008 – by Mark Doyle
John Joe Joyce, Darren Sutherland and Ken Egan are on the way to Beijing after all three progressed to the finals of the respective weight classes in the final Olympic Qualifying tournament in Greece, on Friday.
Joyce was the first man through, the St Michaels Athy ace defeating his German opponent, Sipahi Harun, by a margin of 27-12 in their 64kg semi-final clash.
Later in the day, highly-rated middleweight Sutherland booked his place in the Games in equally impressive style, with Victor Cotiujanschii of Moldova retiring after enduring three rounds of punishment at the hands of the St Saviours club man.
As for Irish team captain Egan, the Dublin light-heavyweight recorded a commanding 21-11 win over German Gottlieb Weiss.
The wins mean that Ireland will have five fighters in this summers Olympics, with Joyce, Sutherland and Egan joining Paddy Barnes and John Joe Nevin on what will be the strongest team the country has sent to a Games since 1992.