Wednesday 21 February 2018

David Oliver Joyce seals Olympic berth after narrow victory over Volkan Gokcek

David Oliver Joyce became the sixth Irish boxer to qualify for Rio
David Oliver Joyce became the sixth Irish boxer to qualify for Rio

David Oliver Joyce became the sixth Irish boxer to qualify for the Rio Olympics after victory in the bronze medal box-off at the European qualifying tournament in Turkey.

Joyce, who missed out on qualification for both the 2008 and 2012 games, finished strongly to win a terrific contest against home favourite Volkan Gokcek and claim a split decision victory.

Joyce had been forced into the box-off after losing his semi-final to Great Britain's Joe Cordina on Friday, and despite evident signs of wear and tear he set a fast enough pace to repel his opponent.

Joyce follows flyweight Brendan Irvine, who booked his place in Rio with a win on Saturday, and the duo join pre-qualified quartet Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward.

Earlier, Nicola Adams rounded off another successful week by securing a split decision victory over Bulgarian opponent Stanimira Petrova in the women's flyweight final.

Adams had already booked her place in Rio in a hugely successful tournament for the British team, who saw nine fighters qualified via victories on Friday and Saturday.

Adams, Galal Yafai, Muhammad Ali, Qais Ashfaq, Joe Cordina, Josh Buatsi, Lawrence Okolie and Joe Joyce were joined by Antony Fowler, who won his bronze medal box-off on Saturday.

All those boxers who fell short in Sansum - including Ireland's reigning Olympic champion Katie Taylor - will hope to take advantage of further qualification opportunities in the build-up to Rio.

Great Britain performance director Rob McCracken hailed a stunning weekend for his team, which ended in a super-heavyweight gold medal win for Joe Joyce over Azerbaijan's two-time world champion Magomedrasul Majidov.

McCracken said: "To have come away from such a difficult tournament with nine boxers qualified for Rio is a fantastic achievement.

"The boxers have acquitted themselves superb and fully deserve to be rewarded for all of their hard work and dedication by getting the chance to compete on the biggest stage of all at the Olympic Games.

Press Association

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