Rio Olympics

Michael Conlan offered medal by Dublin schoolboy after shock Rio exit

 A letter from 5-year-old Dublin boy Finn McManus to Belfast boxer Michael Conlan. Picture from Marie Kirk on Facebook
Amanda Ferguson

A little boy from Dublin has won the hearts of Irish boxing fans after he offered his school medal to Belfast boxer Michael Conlan following his shock exit from the Rio Olympics.

Finn McManus (5) from Swords, Co Dublin, wrote a letter to the 24-year-old offering his sports day medal as a consolation prize.

The bantamweight fighter, who won bronze at the London Olympics, was Team Ireland's last medal hope in boxing.

He was beaten by Russian Vladimir Nikitin in a unanimous decision from judges in the quarter final, but he, boxing fans and experts have claimed he was "robbed".

After his controversial exit from the games Conlan claimed Olympic boxing was "dead".

"I was here to win Olympic gold, my dream has been shattered," he said.

In response, Finn's family sent Conlan a picture of a handwritten letter he drafted via Facebook.

Finn wrote: "My name is Finn McManus and I am five years old.

"I saw your fight in Rio and you should have won because you are the best boxer in the world.

"I want you to have my school medal because you are a winner.

"I hope you like it."

Michael Conlan has since responded to Finn's letter which he described as "very warming".

The boy's mother, Meadhbh McManus, told BBC News NI that she has been "overwhelmed" by both the response of the public and the boxer himself.

She said it was "wonderful that he acknowledged" her son's letter while having to deal with his own disappointment in Rio and added that the boxer's offer of a gift for the boy was "really, really kind".

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