Saturday 10 December 2016

I've 'no clue' if dad Pete will fly to Rio to cheer me on, reveals Katie

David Kearns

Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30

Katie Taylor with her father and coach Pete Taylor on their return from the 2015 Baku European Games
Katie Taylor with her father and coach Pete Taylor on their return from the 2015 Baku European Games

Ireland's Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor has said she has "no clue" as to whether her father and former coach Pete will be flying out to Rio to cheer her on this summer.

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However, Katie, who will be hoping to win gold again, said it will be "business as usual" when she steps into the ring in August.

Gymnast Ellis O'Reilly, runner Ciara Mageean, boxer Katie Taylor, and badminton player Chloe Magee at the official launch of the Ireland kit for the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Damien Eagers
Gymnast Ellis O'Reilly, runner Ciara Mageean, boxer Katie Taylor, and badminton player Chloe Magee at the official launch of the Ireland kit for the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Damien Eagers

The five-time world champion told the Irish Independent she had no idea if her father would even be flying out to Brazil to cheer her on, let alone take up coaching duties with her again.

"I'm not sure yet. I've no clue what his plans are," said the Wicklow-native, brushing off questions about her father's ringside absence.

Asked if the decision for him to step aside ahead of preparations for Rio was Katie's or his own, the sports star replied: "That's a question you'll have to ask him."

"All I'm going to say is that I love my family and I wouldn't [be where I am] without them," she added.

Last year, Pete stepped down from coaching Katie before his 29-year-old daughter began her bid to qualify for the 2016 Games. A mainstay throughout her successful career, his influence has been widely lauded by the star.

In 2012, she said: "I wouldn't be where I am without my dad. He's a genius.

"He's looking for ways for me to improve all the time. I trust everything he says."

The boxing superstar recently failed in her bid for a sixth world championship, suffering a semi-final defeat to France's Estelle Mossely.

Speaking about the loss, Katie said she was disappointed not to make history but was glad the defeat had not been earlier in the competition.

"I wouldn't be heading to Rio," she quipped. "I think all of us heading over in a few months are feeling the pressure but, honestly, it is an absolute privilege to do so. There are people who train their whole lives who never get this opportunity so you have to respect that."

Showing off Ireland's official Olympic team kit for the Rio games, the 2012 London gold medallist was quietly confident about her chances of bringing home another gold medal.

"No competition is ever easy...and I've got to be at my very best to win. But that's what I plan to do. Win," she said.

Asked if she had any fears about the Zika virus which has already led to some athletes withdrawing from the Olympics, Katie said she was too focused on her training to give it much thought. "There's been a lot of talk about it but ask any athlete heading to Rio, they've got other things to be worrying about, to be honest," she said.

Irish Independent

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