Monday 26 September 2016

Taylor three wins away from Rio

Bernard O'Neill

Published 16/05/2016 | 02:30

Sixty-one boxers including Taylor (pictured) have entered in the lightweight class for the 73-nation World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers which begin on Thursday in Astana. Photo: Sportsfile
Sixty-one boxers including Taylor (pictured) have entered in the lightweight class for the 73-nation World Women’s Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers which begin on Thursday in Astana. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor will have to win three fights to qualify for Rio 2016 and five to claim a historic sixth successive World lightweight title in Astana, Kazakhstan.

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Sixty-one boxers including Taylor have entered in the lightweight class for the 73-nation World Women's Elite Championships and Olympic qualifiers which begin on Thursday in Astana.

The semi-finalists in the three Olympic weights for women - flyweight, lightweight and middleweight - qualify for Rio in Central Asia.

Taylor is ranked No 1 in the world at lightweight and will be seeded No 1 in Astana and is in line to receive a bye into the last 32.

That will leave the Bray woman three wins from Rio and five victories from becoming the first woman in the history of the sport to win six successive world titles.

Qualify

She'll also qualify for Rio even if she loses in the preliminaries, provided that Azerbaijan's Yana Alexseevna and/or Italy's Irma Testa make the semi-finals.

Alexseevna beat Taylor in the last-four of the European Olympic qualifiers in Turkey last month and edged Testa on a split decision in the final.

Both women qualified for Rio after finishing in the top two.

Taylor finished third, one place outside the qualification standard, after beating Bulgaria's Svetlana Staneva in the 3rd/4th place box-off.

If Alexseevna and/or Testa make the qualification standard again in Astana, the World places prevail and the Rio places earned in Turkey kick back to Taylor and/or Staneva.

Taylor and an eight-strong Irish team - including Ceire Smith and Christina Desmond in the two other Olympic weights for women - arrived in Astana on Saturday.

Donna Barr, Moira McElliggot, Grainne Walsh, Kelly Harrington and Dervla Duffy make up the Irish squad for the ninth edition of the tournament.

Irish Independent

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