Sunday 17 December 2017

Tough draw for Katie Taylor as London Games launch

atie Taylor arrives at Heathrow airport ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

KATIE Taylor was handed a treacherous draw in her bid to become the womens' Olympic lightweight boxing title.

Just one victory from a bronze medal, Taylor today discovered that she must beat either Britain's Natasha Jonas or her old nemesis, Queen Underwood of America, if she is to win her quarter-final.

Even for an athlete of Katie's undoubted skill and determination, the competition for medals will be fierce.

An off-day or a bad decision, not unknown in amateur boxing, could yet rob Katie of the medal she so richly deserves and the country so desperately wants.

After carrying the flag for Ireland at the opening ceremony in front of thousands of spectators, Katie can get down to the serious business of preparing for her bout against either her UK or US opponent.

There was better news for the mens' boxers at the Excel Arena however with both Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan being granted first round byes.

The Olympic Games opening ceremony takes place in London in front of a crowd of about 60,000 spectators and an estimated one billion television viewers.

The Olympics cost £9bn (€11.5bn) and seven years of planning went into London 2012.

The Olympic flame reached central London last night at the end of its journey through Britain and Ireland.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Irish athletes at their training camp near Twickenham and wished them luck with the games.

"In many ways, sport is like politics - you have to believe in yourself," he told them.

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