Katie Taylor leads Irish Girls to Victory11 July 2013
OLYMPIC champion Katie Taylor has hailed the performances of her Irish team mates at the EU Women’s Senior, Youth and Junior Championships in Keszthely, Hungary.
Taylor, who turned 26 last Tuesday, claimed Ireland’s fifth gold of the Championships and her fifth successive EU lightweight title on Saturday last following victory over France’s Estelle Mosselly in the 60kg final.
Saturday’s win improves the Co. Wicklow athlete’s record to 138 victories from 145 outings – a 95% winning rate – since 2001. She also scooped the boxer of the tournament award in Keszthely.
Overall, Ireland secured 15 medals in Hungary. Kristina O’Hara, Amy Broadhurst, the current European Junior champion, Jacqui Lynch, Grainne Gavin won Youth and Junior gold.
Lianne Murphy, Ciara Sheedy and Niamh Ball won silver and Claire Grace, Christine Desmond, Cathy Higgins, Ciara Ginty, Maeve McCarron, Christine Gargan and Leah Marie Doyle-Roche took home bronze.
The medal-laden Irish team arrived home through Dublin Airport on Sunday, and Taylor, an inspirational figure to the squad, believes that the future is bright.
“It’s fantastic to be part of such a successful team. The Youths and Juniors were just brilliant and I’m just proud to be part of this incredible team, said the AIBA Ambassador for women’s boxing. “It’s unbelievable to come away with so many medals from this tournament. The future of Irish women’s boxing is bright with all these young girls coming through.
“This is my first major tournament since the Olympics Games and to win gold boxing for your country is always the highest honour. I’m always very proud of that.
“It’s been a great week, but it was tough. The heat inside the venue was unbelievable at times as there was no air conditioning. Thankfully, we all came through it.
Taylor also gave the “ten point must” scoring system the thumbs up and will have one eye on Mary Kom’s record of five World titles at the 2014 AIBA World Women’s Championships.
“That’s some record she (Mary Kom of India) has, acknowledged the three-time AIBA World female boxer of the year”.
“It would be an honour to equal that. She’s been amazing for women’s boxing.”
She added: “You have to make sure you win each round under ten point must. Sometimes, when you’re ten or more points up (under computer scoring) you might start coasting and taking it easy a bit.
“But you can’t do that with ten points must. I think it makes the fights a lot more exciting and it’s better for the sport.
“I hope to have a couple of fights before the end of the year. Next year going to be a really tough one as the World and European Championships will be on. I’ll be looking to win a few medals at those tournaments as well.