JOHN SWEENEY, the fourteen years old Summerhill College student who won a silver medal at the European Schoolboy Boxing Championships in Anapa, Russia, can go all the way to the Olympics.
That's the view of his coach at the Gillooly Hall based Innisfree Boxing Club in Slig town, Thomas Myers.
He said: "John had loads of natural ability but he also has the desire to succeed and he's willing to put the work in to realise his potential"
Sweeney was one of the stars of the Irish team which returned with an impressive haul of medals from last week's Championships in Russia.
Competing in the 50kg division, Sweeney got off to a great start with an emphatic 11-4 victory over Israel's Ahmad Shtive in the last sixteen round and he produced another powerful performance when accounting for Kiryl Padlutski of Belarus 13-9 in the quarterfinals.
The Sligo schoolboy was certainly flying the Irish flag with distinction and continued his winning run when he came out on top in a tough semi-final showdown with Ukraine's Il'ja Tkachenko, getting the verdict on a 14-11 scoreline.
Sweeney put up an heroic performance in the semi-final against Russia's Alexandr Kvitkovskiy before losing on a 1-07 verdict.
"It was an absoulte magnificent effort by John", said Thomas Myers.
"He has the talent to go all the way. He will be eighteen years old when the next Olympics come around so that is a realistic target. And he will certainly be a real contender in eight years time"
One of Ireland's Gold medal winners at the Championships, Michael Nevin, beat Sligo's John Myers in the national final to qualify for Russia. That is another indication of the extraordinary wealth of young talent at the Innisfree Club.