Boxing: Dublin duo aim for double gold in Italy

by Jonny Stapleton
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Josh Olaniyan and Ava Henry will look to become two-time European medalists in Italy next week.

Both reached the podium the last time they wore the Irish crest, medalling at the European Schools Championships in Triblai in 2019.

Dublin Dockland’s fighter Henry won silver in Georgia while Olaniyan of Jobstown won gold. Both now target a second continental medal when they compete in the European 

Junior Championships in Montesilvano, Italy.

Henry, who co-captains Team Ireland alongside Cherry Orchard’s Charlie Valbergs, and Tallaght’s Olaniyan, whose brother Josh is also an Irish International, were not the only Dubliners selected at their respective weights.

Jamie Collins was picked after his National Cadet title last summer. The Driminagh fighter will make his major international tournament debut at 48kgs.

Olaniyan’s clubmate Cillian Reilly increases the Tallaght representation and will be looking for a run toward the podium at 63kgs.

Captain Valbergs is a middleweight medal hope, while Avona’s Kayleigh Whelan will compete for Ireland in the 63kg class.

Henry is the latest off the Irish lightweight production line and will look to impress at a weight Katie Taylor, Kellie Harrington, Amy Broadhurst and Yasmin Meridith all contest at, at differing levels, while Olaniyan fights up at 80kgs.

Ireland finished fifth in the medals table at the last European Junior competition in 2019, with Mullhudart’s Chloe Gabriel and Neilstown’s Winnie McDonagh two Dubs to win gold in Romania.

Team Ireland have won a massive 40 medals at major international tournaments since the turn of the year

Tallaght’s Brandon Geoghegan, Broderick Adbuire and Abbey Molloy all medalled at the recent European Schools Championships. 

Bobbi Flood, Winnie McDonagh and Georgia McGovern stepped onto the podium at the European Youths, while Jack Marley and Niamh Fay were Dubs who won European U22 honours.

The latest crop of capital battlers head to Italy hoping to add to a sensationally successful year for Irish amateur boxing.

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