Irish boxing finished in 5th and 6th positions in the medals and rankings tables at London 2012……
The Irish boxing team commanded 5th position in the medals table and 6th place in the rankings tables at the 30th Olympiad.
Great Britain, Ukraine, Cuba, Russia and Ireland, in that order, finished in the top five in the medals table.
Kazakhstan, China, Japan, USA and Italy made up the top ten.
Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan won gold, silver and two bronze medals at London 2012.
Taylor also scooped the Best Female Boxer of the Tournament Award, an historic first as female boxing made its Olympic debut in the English capital.
The Co. Wicklow woman has now won an astonishing 14 Olympic, World, European and European Union titles – all in-a-row – and has never been beaten in a major international final.
Great Britain, Russia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Ireland, China, USA, Italy and Brazil, in that order, finished in the top ten in the rankings table, which are based on points and medals score.
The six-strong Irish squad, the smallest panel of any of the nations in the top-ten, lost five of 18 bouts in London, one on a countback.
Nevin, Barnes and Conlan lost to eventual gold medalists – Great Britain’s Luke Campbell and China’s Zou Shiming – who was hauled all the way to the departure lounge at Heathrow Airport by Barnes only to wriggle into the final on accepted scores (countback), and Cuba’s Robeisy Carrazana-Ramirez – in London.
Nevin, meantime, beat Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, the current AIBA World champion, in the semi-finals in a performance oozing in class, while 20-year-old Conlan, the youngest member of the Irish team, became the second member of the St John Bosco BC in Belfast – after Freddie Gilroy – to claim an Olympic medal.
Adam Nolan, who won one fight, was beaten by Russian welterweight Andrey Zamkovoy, who took home bronze. Team captain Darren O’Neill, who proudly led out team Ireland at tonight’s Closing Ceremony, also won one bout in London.
Both O’Neill and Nolan were making their Olympic debuts in London and represented their country with pride. Their wins also helped lift Ireland into 6th position in the rankings table.
Boxing won four of the five medals at London 2012. Show jumper Cian O’Connor also won a magnificent bronze for Ireland at the XXX Olympiad.
Ireland finished in 61st position in the medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where Ken Egan, Paddy Barnes and the late Darren Sutherland secured our only medals from all sports.
Ireland finished in 41st position at London 2012, where our boxers occupied four positions on winners podiums.
The Olympic flame was extinguished at tonight’s Closing Ceremony. The Olympic Torch now passes to Rio 2016.
Irish 2012 Olympic squad
49Kg (Light-flyweight) Paddy Barnes (Holy Family BC, Belfast)
52kg (Flyweight) Michael Conlan (St John Bosco BC, Belfast)
56kg (Bantamweight) John Joe Nevin (Cavan BC)
60kg (Lghtweight) Katie Taylor (Bray BC, Wicklow)
69kg (Welterweight) Adam Nolan (Bray BC, Wicklow)
75kg (Middleweight) Darren O’Neill (Paulstown BC, Kilkenny)
Team Manager: Des Donnelly
Coaches: Billy Walsh, Zuar Antia, Pete Taylor
Physio: Conor McCarthy
Strength & Conditioning: John Cleary
Performance Psychologist: Gerry Hussey