Katie Taylor's winning ways continue with European title
KATIE Taylor was met with cheers and rapturous applause at the arrivals gate in Dublin airport following her historic win in Bucharest.
Taylor struck gold again, beating French rival Estelle Mossley on Saturday during four intense rounds in the Women's European Boxing Championship finals.
Despite having already beat Mossley back in July at the European Union final, Taylor said she wasn't taking anything for granted ahead of the game.
"I knew it would be a close fight. She's a very strong athlete which she proved beating Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the semi-final," she said yesterday.
"It was never going to be an easy fight in the European final."
Taylor has not lost a European fight since she started her remarkable run back in 2005 and yet remains humble about her success.
She credited the support of her family and other athletes for her continued triumph.
Speaking to the Irish Independent after touching down from Romania, Taylor said despite the lack of women in Irish boxing she's always felt tremendously supported.
"Women are in the minority in boxing but the support and warmth of the boxing community is enormous," she said.
Taylor (28) has numerous European and Olympic medals to her name as well as winning Sportsperson of the Year in 2012 and penning her own Memoir, 'My Olympic Dream'. When asked what was next in store she laughed and said "I'm taking a few weeks break now. I can't wait to get home and see my friends and family. I'm visiting my granny's house later today."
Before leaving the airport, she posed for pictures and signed autographs for delighted young fans.
Among those was eight-year-old Grace, daughter of Fergal Carruth, chief executive of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
"I'd be delighted if Grace developed an interest in boxing one day," Fergal told the Irish Independent. "It's an excellent mode of self defence and discipline."
The lightweight boxer was joined by a five-woman squad in Bucharest including welterweight amateur Clare Grace, who lost out to Britain's Stacey Copeland in the last four of the 69kg division. However, the DCU student returned home with a bronze medal and said she will now work towards the World Amateur Boxing Championships in November.
"Katie has been a massive source of inspiration for me and was supportive in Bucharest," Clare said.
Both Taylor and Grace were commended by Minister for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, who described their success as "an amazing achievement for a country with such a small population." He said their achievements provide "encouragement and inspiration to girls and young sportswomen throughout Ireland who aspire to box for their country".
See Vincent Hogan: Sport 27