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Country at a standstill as Katie fights for Olympic gold dream

Lise Hand in London

Published 09/08/2012 | 05:00

Katie Taylor is congratulated by her father and coach Peter, right, and assistant coach Zaur Antia.
Showjumper Cian O'Connor shows off his bronze medal
Paddy Barnes celebrates after guaranteeing himself a bronze medal.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is seated beside professional boxer Amir Khan while in front of him FAI chief John Delaney is in the same row as Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey (waving).
Ronnie Skutch, from Stillorgan, Dublin, flies the flag at the ExCel Arena in London before Katie's bout. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Katie also got support from other Team Ireland athletes, including Lisa Kearney ( judo), Chloe Magee (badminton) and Melanie Nocher (swimming). Photo: SPORTSFILE
Adoring fans in Katie Taylor's home town of Bray.
fans on Main Street
Shen Lally (4).
Katie fans Lauren Boothman (5) and Hannah Doorman (5)

THE country will come to a standstill at 4.45pm today as Katie Taylor fights for her Olympic gold medal dream.

The 26-year-old is a step away from glory after she produced a clinical performance against Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva to reach the lightweight final.

Thousands of workers are expected to clock off early to catch the fight, while crowds will gather to watch on big screens in her home town of Bray, Co Wicklow.

The opportunity to win a gold medal -- described by the boxer as a "dream come true" -- will write Taylor's name into the history books.

As a remarkable week continued for Ireland at the London Olympics yesterday, showjumper Cian O'Connor won bronze in a dramatic comeback -- he only made the final after another rider dropped out.

And Paddy Barnes became the fourth Irish boxer to guarantee himself at least a bronze medal, making it Ireland's best Olympic performance for nearly 60 years.

Five medals equals the record set way back in 1956 during the Melbourne Games, when Ireland won four in boxing and one in athletics.

Taylor said she only expected to sleep for two hours last night, and wished she could have another day of rest.

She said: "It's amazing to box for the gold medal."

Irish Independent

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