Friday 30 September 2016

Conlan sets his sights on more gold in Doha

Bernard O'Neill

Published 17/08/2015 | 02:30

Conlan is determined to ensure that his first gold medal won’t be his last
Conlan is determined to ensure that his first gold medal won’t be his last

Michael Conlan is determined to ensure that his first gold medal won't be his last.

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"It wasn't my best performance (Saturday's final), but it was my best performance at the tournament. I'm delighted to have won the gold medal as I won silver at the last European Championships," said the Belfast bantam.

"I'm going for the gold in Doha. I want to be the first Irish male boxer to win a World Elite title and I'm confident I can do that."

If Conlan does win World Elite gold, he'll have qualified for the same Olympics twice, given that so many roads have been opened up to Rio 2016.

Joe Ward also has his sights firmly set on competing in the 31st Olympiad.

"Getting to the Olympics has always been my dream and that will be my target at the World Championship, although it is going to be very tough, said the Moate southpaw.

"I enjoyed the Europeans and being back in the squad. Winning a second gold medal at this level is a very proud achievement for me."

The Irish squad will work out in Dublin and then have a final training camp in Italy before heading for Doha.

Head coach, Billy Walsh, said: "Winning two gold medals and a bronze, the Best Boxer award and finishing in the second spot in the medals table is a phenomenal achievement, considering we had such a small squad.

"The target was to qualify four for Doha and we achieved that, despite being given a really tough draw.

"Doha will be an even bigger test. With Olympic places on the line, the competition will be absolutely fierce."

Just 23 Olympic places will be available across the 10 weight classes in Doha - the lowest yield in the history of the World Championships as a qualifier.

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