Kieran Molloy targets European gold for his grandad
Kieran Molloy is ready to put his Olympic disapointment behind by winning European Under-22 Gold for his Grandad next week.
The Galway native’s grandfather, Stephen, passed away last week but he still travels to Italy hoping to honour him with a gold medal win.
Molloy also suggests it’s a chance to put Olympic disappointment behind him. The 2018 EU Championships bronze medal winner entered 2019 in Olympic welterweight pole but Aidan Walsh was selected for the World Championships and subsequently beat Molloy in the 2020 Elite championships. The Belfast boxer then went on to what ended up being the only Olympic qualifier and sealed his ticket to Tokyo.
Molloy is happy to see everyone qualify but he is honest enough to admit that watching the qualifiers rather than competing in them hurt.
The European under 22’s and Italy are not quite the Olympics and Tokyo but it is a chance for the Oughterard BC fighter to secure some time in the spotlight and add to his medal collection – and that’s exactly what the 22-year-old plans to do.
“By next week I want to have a gold medal wrapped around my neck with the national anthem playing,” he told Irish-boxing.com.
I’m delighted to be a part of this team and to get back to some top-class competition
“It was hard for me to watch the qualifiers as I would have loved to have been there but it was great to see the lads and girls fulfil their dreams of becoming Olympians.”
While no longer Ireland’s #1, the double Elite champion and decorated underage star remains a top talent and feels he is in prime condition to medal in Roseto delgi Abruzzi.
Molloy outlines how “I’m confident heading towards this tournament. I’ve trained extremely hard and preparation has been bang on.”
“I have been training full-time with the National Elite team for the past four years now. I was lucky enough to be able to train in the National Sports Institute in Blanchardstown over the lockdown and train with my dad at home on the weekends,” he explained before paying tribute to his beloved grandad.
“My grandad sadly passed away last week but I know he’ll be in my corner in Italy.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@thefIrish)