Boxing won’t be the apple of the Irish Olympic eye after the latest instalement of the Olympics, if the Virtual Medal Table is to be believed.
Our most successful Olympic sport won’t outshine the others come the delayed Tokyo 2020 according to the Gracenote Virtual Medal Table – that said, there will be more medals won than at Rio 2016.
Gracenote, an international company which are said to boast a good record in the world of predictions, suggests Ireland will win five medals of which one will come from boxing.
In a downgrade from the number of medals predicted for Ireland in January of 2020 before the pandemic struck, Gracenote estimates two gold, one silver and two bronze will be brought back from Japan to Ireland later this summer.
The gold medals will be won by Sanita Puspure in single sculls rowing and by the Equestrian-Showjumping Team. The solitary silver will be taken by lightweight double sculls rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy meaning the best boxing will achieve will be bronze according to the predictions.
According to the statistical analysis, World Championship gold and silver medal winner Kellie Harrington will claim bronze as will gymnast Rhys McClenaghan.
Gracenote uses an extensive statistical model based on individual and team results since Rio, and they predict the top-eight finishers across all the Olympic events.
Interestingly enough, popular Dub Harrington has yet to officially qualify for the Olympics whereas Brendan Irvine and Kurt Walker have.
However, Harrington is ranked #3 lightweight in the world by the AIBA – which could form the basis of the prediction.
To qualify for the Games in Japan, Harrington will need to perform in the sole qualifier in Paris this June. The St Mary’s fighter needs just one win – over Poland’s Aneta Rygielska, whom she has beaten twice in the past 18 months – to qualify. Even if she were to lose to Rygielska, only an odd combination of results would see Harrington miss out.
Considering the delay and the turmoil of the last 12 months or so it’s hard to know where each Olympic hopeful is at in terms of form but before the pandemic struck most boxing fans would have been confident of more than one medal.
Harrington has proved she is capable of beating anyone in the world at her weight and has gold potential, Michaela Walsh is another who has impressed in all her recent tournaments and is a world level operator, the same can be said of Walker, although he slipped up in the qualifiers.
Some fancy Irvine, who is heading to his second Olympics, as a dark horse, while there could be another bolter or two from the pack.
Gracenote predicted golds for Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan in Rio, while they suggested Joe Ward would win silver back in 2016. At the time Taylor and Conlan had #1 world rankings and Ward was said to be #2 in the world behind Cuban Julio La Cruz.