Broadhurst’s slim Olympic hopes for Tokyo officially over

Local boxer Amy Broadhurst’s slim Olympic dream is officially over after she was omitted from the Ireland squad for the European qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 in London next month.

The 60kg place in the squad has instead gone to former World Elite Lightweight Champion Kellie Harrington.

This is despite Broadhurst currently being ranked the number one 60kg female in Ireland after a walkover against Harrington at the National Elite Championships in November.

Harrington failed to participate in the event, citing injury, denying Broadhurst the chance to prove she was Olympic qualifier worthy.

Having not fought, Harrington retained her place in pole position for the Qualifiers and will now have the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Speaking last November, Amy said: “I genuinely thought the winner of our fight would have been the one selected for the Olympic Qualifiers which was only fair. If she had have beaten me fair, like last time, then by all means she deserves to go, but nobody will ever see the true outcome of it all now.

“I do think there should be a box off, but there won’t be. There will be assessments behind closed doors and that’s why so many didn’t enter and box. It’s a shame that the National Championships don’t determine who will go or not the way it used to be. I remember being a junior and a youth knowing if I won the National Championships I would be on the plane. It’s not like that anymore.”

The 22-year-old Muirhevnamor woman said she was confident of victory having gained valuable experience since losing to Harrington in early 2018.

Expecting to miss out on the Qualifiers for Tokyo, Broadhurst said last year she would instead focus on the Paris 2024 Games.

“I have to take a step back for Kellie ahead of the Tokyo Olympics because of what she’s just achieved, which I’ve accepted. Come 2024, though, I won’t be taking a step back — that’s my time. The Olympics has always been a dream of mine, and I’m not going to be waiting 10 years or whatever to get there.

“Going into 2024, I think I’m going to be in my prime. In four years, I don’t think Kellie will be able to beat me. As a boxer, I have so much to learn and so much to experience, whereas she has already experienced it all. She’ll really be on her way out then, in 2024. She’ll be 33 or 34.

“I’m patient enough to hang around for a few years, but come 2024 I’m going to be hungry to get to the Olympics. I won’t be stepping down for anyone then.”

Amy is currently recovering from an operation on her hand following treatment in Dublin’s Cappagh Hospital.

Team Ireland for the Qualifiers is as follows:

  • Ceire Smith (51kg)
  • Michaela Walsh (57kg)
  • Kellie Harrington (60kg)
  • Christina Desmond (69kg)
  • Aoife O’Rourke (75kg)
  • Brendan Irvine (52kg)
  • Kurt Walker (57kg)
  • George Bates (63kg)
  • Aidan Walsh (69kg)
  • Michael Nevin (75g)
  • Emmett Brennan (81kg)
  • Kirill Afanasev (91kg)
  • Dean Gardiner (91kg+)