Aidan Walsh moves another step closer to Olympic Games spot

The Belfast fighter is back in the ring on Wednesday after winning in Bangkok on Tuesday

Belfast's Aidan Walsh lost out to Brazil's Wanderson de Oliveira at the World Olympic qualifier in Busto Arsizio on Thursday. Picture by Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Belfast's Aidan Walsh is edging closer to a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris (SPORTSFILE)

AIDAN Walsh took a step towards qualification for the Paris Olympics as he came through his Round of 32 light-middleweight bout in Bangkok on Tuesday.

The bronze medallist from the Tokyo Games was up against Algeria’s Youcef Islam Yaiche and the Holy Family man came through on a 4-1 decision.

It was Walsh’s second contest of the tournament, having come through on Sunday against Boniface Mogunde Maina of Kenya.

Yesterday was a stiffer test, but the Belfast man swept all three rounds on three of the cards, with the other two judges scoring it 29-28 either way.

Walsh will be straight back into action again today when he is in last 16 action against Ukraine’s Yuri Zakharieiev at 2.45pm, Irish time, as he bids to join older sister Michaela who qualified through the European Games last year.

Victory could leave him one win away from guaranteed qualification for Paris as there are five quota places in the 71kg category, but there is a way where he may need a fifth victory to make sure of it.

Walsh was joined in the winning enclosure on Tuesday by Dublin’s Jennifer Lehane.

The DCU bantamweight was making her debut in Thailand, but ensured Ireland’s perfect start to the final qualifier for Paris continued as she took care of business against Puerto Rico’s Angelyris Lopez on a 4-1 decision.

Lehane has a little longer to wait for her next bout as she is not scheduled back in the ring until Saturday.

Today will be another busy day for the Irish hopefuls as there are three in action.

Joining Aidan Walsh is super-heavyweight Martin McDonagh who is making his bow in the tournament, taking on Vietnam’s Doan Minh Hieu Ngoc at around 9.15am.

In the women’s 66kg category, Grainne Walsh boxes her second bout of the competition against Korea’s Hyo Sun Hwang at 1.30pm Irish time.

Also in action later today is Team GB’s Amy Broadhurst, who is due in the ring around 1pm.

The Dundalk native, who switched allegiance after being overlooked by Ireland for this qualifier, made a good start to her bid to qualify in the lightweight division on Monday with a convincing win over Spain’s Sheila Martinez and is back for her second bout today against Canada’s Terris Smith.

With three Paris Games spots available in her division, Broadhurst will need to reach the final in Thailand or win a box-off for third place to qualify for her first Olympics.

Irish in action on Wednesday


92+kg round of 32 M McDonagh v D Ngoc Minh Hieu (Vietnam)


60kg round of 16 A Broadhurst (GB) v T Smith (Can)


66kg round of 32 G Walsh v HS Hwang (North Korea)


71kg round of 16 A Walsh v Yurii Zakharieiev (Ukr)