'Thank god I have another chance to qualify for Rio' - Katie Taylor vows to 'come again' after shock defeat
In the wake of her shock loss to Yana Alexseevna in Turkey today, Katie Taylor has issued a statement assuring her fans that she is as determined as ever to qualify for the Olympics
Alexseevna of Azerbaijan dealt Taylor a shock defeat at the European Olympic qualifying event in Turkey this afternoon, delaying the Olympic champion's qualification for this summer's games in Rio.
A win this afternoon would have seen Taylor book her place in the upcoming Olympiad but the defeat now means that she must make the semi-finals of next month's world championship in Astana to book her ticket on the plane to Brazil.
In her statement, Taylor thanks all those who continue to support her and vowed to make the best of these unexpected circumstances.
"I'm obviously very disappointed. I always go to these competitions with the aim of bringing back a gold medal.
"The loss came at the wrong time for me today but she's a fantastic boxer and you can't take it away from her. She deserved it today but I'll come again. Thank God I have another chance to go and qualify and I'm going to do everything I can do to book my place in Rio."
It wasn't my day today. I'll come again. Thanks everyone for your prayers and support. Much appreciated.— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) April 15, 2016
The Irish boxers in action in the men's event, Brendan Irvine and David Oliver Joyce, have two opportunities to claim a place in Rio - by either winning their semi-finals or a third-place box-off - but the women's competition doesn't give the losing semi-finalists the luxury of another fight.
It was Taylor's first loss since a controversial defeat at a multi-nation tournament in Bulgaria in 2011.
Taylor was uncharacteristically on the back foot throughout the bout as Alexseevna took the opening round and didn't let up much thereafter, eventually winning a unanimous decision.
Taylor lost 39-37 on all three of the judges cards, and by the time the fourth and final round arrived, she needed a stoppage or a knockdown to win the fight.
No Irish athlete has been as dominant as Taylor since her first major medal in 2005 - which makes her defeat jar even more. To date, Taylor has won an Olympic gold, five world championships and six European championships.