Grainne Walsh targets Tokyo – Olympic dream still alive for Spartacus welter

Grainne Walsh hasn’t given up on her Tokyo dream and is currently training hard at home to ensure she returns ready to impress Bernard Dunne and co.

The Spartacus Boxing Club fighter lost out on selection for the European Olympic qualifiers and is determined to rectify that going into the final qualification tournament.

The Tullamore native’s friend, rival and National Elite final defeater Christina Desmond  was picked to represent Ireland in European Olympic qualifying tournament at 69kgs.

The Cork native lost out to World Championship silver medalist and no.3 seed, Angela Carina, in that tournament before it was cancelled.

That means Ireland won’t have a representative a welterweight when the European qualifiers pick up where they left off, which in turn means our only hope of getting a 69kg female fighter to Tokyo is by qualification via the World qualifying route.

Walsh believes there is a place to be won on the team for that World qualifier, which should play out in the spring of next year – and the 24-year-old’s focus is now on earning that slot.

“We’re back in Dublin in August hopefully, all going well,” Walsh told RTE.

“It will be up to the coaches who’s selected for the second qualifier, so I’m hoping that, at my fittest, there’s no one else to beat me. 

“I’ll be fancying my chances there.

“And then once I go away and I’m prepared to the best of my ability I’ll be able to bring home the goods and I’ll be over in Japan next year,” she declared. 

The European Games and EU Championships bronze medal winner suffered a hand injury at the start of the year – and as a result is happy with the delay in the boxing calendar.

“People were freaking out but I was actually secretly hoping it would be postponed because it’s given me the extra time to get my hand back 100%,” she admitted.

“I’m tipping away nicely now and it’s strengthening up so I’m going in the right direction.”

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 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: