Amy Broadhurst allowed to compete at Olympic qualifier if selected by Team GB

Tokyo Olympian Aidan Walsh given nod for final World qualifier in Bangkok

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association has opted to boycott competitions run by the International Boxing Association. Ireland returned from last year's women's Worlds with two gold medals, courtesy of Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O'Rourke. Picture by INPHO
Amy Broadhurst won World and European gold medals for Ireland in 2022, as well as Commonwealth Games gold for Team NI. Picture by INPHO

AMY Broadhurst has moved another step closer to representing Great Britain after being given the green light to compete at next month’s final Olympic qualifier in Thailand.

The Irish News understands that the 2022 World champion has received clearance from the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) boxing taskforce to represent Team GB in Bangkok, provided she is selected.

Teams must be submitted to the IOC by Wednesday, and it would be a shock if the Dundalk woman isn’t named as Team GB’s lightweight pick having been sounded out about switching allegiance after being overlooked by Ireland.

The 27-year-old – who qualifies through Slough-born father Tony - also attended a Team GB training camp in Colorado last week.

Shona Whitwell has represented GB at both Olympic qualifiers to date, in Poland last summer and Milan last month, but failed to nail down a spot at Paris 2024. Gemma Richardson, who lost out to Broadhurst in the Commonwealth Games final two years ago, is also in the mix.

Given it is less than three weeks since her switch was approved by Ireland, there were concerns over whether all the required paperwork would go through in time for the April 17 deadline as it can take up to three years for the IOC to approve applications to declare for another country.

However - as is understood to have happened in Broadhurst’s case - that process can be expedited, subject to approval from the IOC executive board.

Should she be selected, and subsequently claim one of the three qualifying spots up for grabs, it sets up the intriguing possibility of a showdown with former Irish team-mate, and defending Olympic champion, Kellie Harrington.

The final World qualifier - which takes place from May 23-June 3 - will be Broadhurst’s second crack at securing her spot in Paris. Last summer she went to the European Games at 66kg, where she lost to Welsh woman Rosie Eccles in the last eight.

But for some highly questionable judging, Grainne Walsh would already have sealed her Olympic place in Milan last month. She will be handed another shot in Thailand, with first reserve Lisa O’Rourke competing currently in Serbia preparing to compete at the European Championships.

Offaly woman Walsh is set to be joined by Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Aidan Walsh after he was given the nod following a 71kg assessment with Mullaghbawn’s Eugene McKeever, who competes at the upcoming Europeans. Injury ruled reigning Irish champion Dean Walsh out of the assessment.