'Lion-heart' Katie sets sights on more glory
THERE was a sense of deja vu as Katie Taylor emerged into a crowded Dublin Airport with her latest World Championship medal proudly on display.
The 23-year-old Bray boxer may have a hat-trick of world medals already in her clasp, but she revealed she had no intention of resting on her laurels.
The golden girl of amateur boxing intends to target next year's European Championships and then the qualifiers for the London Olympics in 2012. But first of all she is going to enjoy a few weeks' rest.
"For the moment I'm not even going to think about boxing for the next few weeks, I'm just going to catch up with my friends and family," she said. "I think it has to be the best one yet; it was the toughest competition so far," she said. "I've had five hard fights in this competition and to get the boxer of the tournament at the end was the icing on the cake. The support I had out there was unbelievable -- the best two weeks of my life I think."
She said it would not have been possible without her father and coach, Peter Taylor, in her corner over the week.
"It's looking great for London. I can't wait for the next two years now," she said. "Hopefully I'll just continue to improve and get better and better, and be able to fight when London comes around."
Katie was greeted by up to a hundred fans as she arrived in Dublin Airport shortly after 4pm. She hugged her waiting brother Lee, and chants of "There's only one Katie Taylor" could be heard ringing out.
Peter Taylor said she would take a five-week break before starting back training for the next 18 months. "It bodes well for the Olympics, but we are not looking that far ahead, we're going to take it one competition at a time," he said.
Sports Minister Mary Hanafin, who greeted Katie at the airport, said it had been a "great year for women in sport".
Olympic boxing medallist Kenny Egan, who turned out to support Katie, said she was an amazing athlete. "It showed in the semi-final against the American, that it is not just talent she has; she has the heart of a lion," he said.