Tuesday 17 September 2019

Aoife secures Euro gold in scrappy bout

Undisputed World lightweight professional champion Katie Taylor won six European titles during her glittering amateur career, but O'Rourke is the first Irish female boxer since then to secure a gold medal (stock photo)
Undisputed World lightweight professional champion Katie Taylor won six European titles during her glittering amateur career, but O'Rourke is the first Irish female boxer since then to secure a gold medal (stock photo)

Seán McGoldrick

Ireland has a new European women's boxing champion. Roscommon's Aoife O'Rourke became only the second Irish female fighter to win a gold medal at elite European level when she secured the gold medal in the middleweight final in Madrid last night.

The Castlerea BC fighter comfortably beat Poland's Elzebieta Wojcik with all five judges awarding her the decision after a scrappy encounter in which the Polish fighter was warned for holding.

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A delighted O'Rourke hugged Irish coach Zaur Anita after the verdict was announced. O'Rourke, who is a great-granddaughter of the late Dan O'Rourke, a former GAA President and Roscommon footballer, is now on target to compete at the Tokyo Olympics next year if she can retain her form.

Undisputed World lightweight professional champion Katie Taylor won six European titles during her glittering amateur career, but O'Rourke is the first Irish female boxer since then to secure a gold medal.

Dundalk's Amy Broadhurst, who won a bronze medal in the lightweight division, was presented with her medal just minutes before O'Rourke came into the ring to fight the middleweight decider. Bernard Dunne, head of the IABA's High Performance unit tweeted 'Superb achievement' after O'Rourke's contest.

She looked impressive throughout the tournament and probably did the heavy lifting in the semi-final with a stunning 4-1 defeat of World and Olympic youth champion Anastasia Shamonova from Russia.

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