Friday 15 December 2017

Taylor: Securing Rio spot 'a weight off my shoulders'

Ireland’s Katie Taylor lands a punch on Victoria Torres of Mexico during her victory in Astana yesterday INPHO
Ireland’s Katie Taylor lands a punch on Victoria Torres of Mexico during her victory in Astana yesterday INPHO

Bernard O'Neill

Katie Taylor admitted that a weight has been lifted from her shoulders after qualifying for her second successive Olympics in Kazakhstan yesterday.

The No 1 seed in the lightweight class at World Women's Elite Championships beat Mexico's Victoria Torres on a unanimous decision in a fiery quarter-final.

Yesterday's verdict guarantees the Olympic champion at least bronze and a sixth successive World podium finish.

"It's definitely a big weight off my shoulders, the Olympic Games have always been the most important thing for me," said Taylor. "It has always been a dream of mine since London 2012. This is every boxer's dream.

"Thursday is another big test and I will have to perform to my best to reach the final. It was a tough fight today against a tough opponent. Thank God I came through it."

Kellie Harrington is also assured of at least bronze. The Dubliner convincingly beat Kazakhstan's Zarina Tsoloyeva in the light-welter class.

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