It wasn’t pretty but Aoife O’Rourke won’t care one care bit.
The Roscommon native had to go to war in her European Games semi-final and eventually came away with the spoils, in this case, a silver medal [at least] and an Olympic spot.
The Team Ireland middleweight registered a come-from-behind win for the second time in the tournament and is now a two-time Olympian.
Much like her teammate Jack Marley earlier in the day, O’Rourke found herself trailing after the first stanza, and again much like the Dublin she bit down on her gumshield, went into battle mode and reversed the scoring, eventually defeating old foe Elzbieta Wojcik via split decision.
The win means Team Ireland have qualified FIVE boxers for the Paris Olympics O’Rourke joining, Marley, Kellie Harrington, Michaela Walsh and Dean Clancy as qualified for Paris 2024.
O’Rourke started well, in and out with neat and powerful one-two combinations. However, the Pole was there to fight and was swinging big anytime she managed to close the gap. Her game approach and aggression impressed four of the scoring judges and she took an early lead as a result.
If you could bottle this girls heart, desire to win and refusal to give up you’d be a millionaire— Emmet Brennan OLY (@emmetbrennan91) June 30, 2023
An amazing role model for any kid
Congratulations Aoife O’Rourke double Olympian https://t.co/uCsmVTqtRx
The Olympic BC fighter was full of endeavour and effort as she tried to get back into contention in the second. It wasn’t always the prettiest, in fact at times it was unusually wild, but within the aggressive all-action approach, there were flashes of quality to win her the round.
That set up an Olympic shootout in the final session and both fighters brought bullets. Fighting for their Parisian dream the pair let their hands go in a hard-to-score round that kept the referee busy.
In the end O’Rourke got the nod and thus the win. She will now try to add European Games gold to her European Championship golds tomorrow.