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Olympic qualifier latest – European qualifying tournament to pick up where it left off

The European leg of the Olympic qualifiers will resume where they left off once boxing can return.

The tournament was postponed on March 16 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and will resume where it stopped at a date to be confirmed, according to the IOC.

Irish captain Brendan Irvine qualified for Tokyo 2020, which will now play out in the summer of 2021, in the English capital – and his place in the rescheduled Olympics is safe and secure.

The nine other Irish boxers who traveled to London will still be in play when the qualifiers recommence.

Indeed, they will fight the fighters they were drawn against before the cancellation of the first or two qualifying tournaments.

Michaela Walsh, Kellie Harrington, George Bates, Aoife O’Rourke, Emmet Brennan, Kiril Afanasev, Aidan Walsh, Michael Nevin and Dean Gardiner are all still in play and as it stands remain Olympic hopefuls.

Kurt Walker will have to wait for the World qualifying tournament if he is secure a ticket to the next Olympics. Carly McNaul also exited the London hosted qualifiers after coming in for the injured Cerie Smith.

European Olympic Qualifiers

Copperbox Arena London March

Last 16


57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Mona Mestian (France)

60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Aneta Rygielska (Poland)

63kg George Bates (Ireland) v Javid Chalabiyev (Azerbaijan)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Viktoriya Kebikava (Belarus)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) v Uke Smajli (Switzerland)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) V Emanual Reyes (Spain)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) v Wahid Hambli (France)

75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) v Arman Darchinyan (Armenia)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Petar Belberov (Bulgaria)



52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) v Gabriel Escobar (Spain)


March 16

Last 32

69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) beat Pavel Kamanin (Estonia) 5-0

75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Max Van Der Pas (Netherlands) 4-1

Last 16

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) beat Istavan Szaka (Hungary) 5-0

51kg Carly McNaul (Ireland) lost Charley Davison (Team Great Britain) 0-5

57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Hamsat Shadolov (Germany) 0-5

March 15

Last 32

63kg George Bates (Ireland) beat Leon Dominguez (Spain) RSCI1

81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) beat Radenko Tomic (Bosnia & Herzegovina) RSC2

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Ireland) beat Begadze Nikoloz (Georgia) 4-1

Last 16

69kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Angela Carina (Italy) 0-5

Irish squad

(Olympic qualification standards in brackets)


52kg Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s, Antrim) Cpt (Top 8) (Qualified)

57kg Kurt Walker (Canal, Antrim) (Top 8)

63kg George Bates (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 8)

69kg Aidan Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise, Laois) (Top 6)

81kg Emmet Brennan (Dublin Docklands) (Top 6)

91kg Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield, Dublin) (Top 4)

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel, Tipperary) (Top 4)


51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road, Belfast) (Top 6)

57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown, Antrim) (Top 6)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Mary’s, Dublin) (Top 6)

69kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s, Cork, Garda BC) (Top 5)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea, Roscommon) (Top 4)

High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: