Friday 22 September 2017

Boxing: 'Poster girl' Taylor unfazed by great expectations

Katie Taylor, left, and Sonia O'Sullivan in
Dublin.
Katie Taylor, left, and Sonia O'Sullivan in Dublin.
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

WHILE admitting there is a considerable weight of expectation on his daughter's shoulders, Katie Taylor's father and coach Peter stressed the Bray dynamo must first qualify for the London Games before she can dream of gold.

Taylor will have to finish as one of the top four European boxers in the World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, at the end of May to take her seat on the plane to London, which would leave her with less than two months before the start of the Games.

However, Taylor Snr insists there are some benefits to having the qualifiers so close to the opening ceremony.

"If you do qualify, then there won't be much of a run-in and that keeps the pressure off you a little bit," he said. "But if you get injured, get your nose broken or a hand, then it is a problem."

With Sebastian Coe saying Taylor could be the "the poster girl of these games" and International Boxing Association president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu stating that Taylor is the reason women's boxing became an Olympic sport, the eyes of the world are watching the Bray boxer.

And her father insisted he was happy to see the Giovanni Trapattoni's team qualify for the European Championships next summer as he believes that will "take some of the pressure off" his daughter.

"It's great that the footballers have qualified for the Euros because it takes a bit of the pressure off. People will only start thinking about the Olympics after the European Championships."

However, Taylor herself insists she has no problem dealing with the flood of compliments that have come her way.

"I don't really find it too difficult to deal with; I've always had the dream to win an Olympic gold medal. I want it that bad so all I'm thinking about, really, is the Olympic qualifiers so I'm taking it one day at a time."

After yesterday's confirmation that the Olympic torch was coming to Dublin, Taylor admitted it would be a "huge honour" to carry the flame. "We'll see if I get asked to do it first! But it's great that the torch is going through Dublin; it's like a home Games anyway with it being in London."

Irish Independent

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