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'God has been great to me these last few years' - Katie Taylor on Olympic qualification

She may have booked her spot at the London Games but the current world champion remains focused on retaining her title.

Katie with her father Peter earlier today.
Katie with her father Peter earlier today.
Image: INPHO/ChinaFotoPress

IRISH BOXER Katie Taylor took the time out to thank the people who have supported her along the way and the help of God after earning a place at the London Olympics this morning.

The 25-year-old Bray native was ready to take on Michaela Lacatus of Romania in the last eight of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in China when she received news that progression to the semi-final was assured as her opponent had suffered a neck injury.

And with French fighter Estelle Mossely losing her bout to Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva, qualification for her first Olympic Games was guaranteed for the three-time world champion, who is currently fighting in the 60kg lightweight category.

“It’s a dream come true. I just can’t believe it really,” Taylor told Paul McDermott of the Irish Sports Council.

It’s taken years and years of hard work to get here and now I’m going to be an Olympian and join the five other lads who qualified which is an amazing achievement.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their prayers over the last few weeks because I couldn’t have done this without them. God has been so great to me these last few years in my career and I’d be nothing without him.”

Asked if it was the best moment of her career so far, she replied: “We’ll see at the end of the week if I retain my title. It’s important to go to the Olympics as a current world champion.

“We’ll enjoy this victory, well, walkover and the qualification and tomorrow I have to start focusing for the next fight. It’s a huge fight but it won’t be hard to motivate myself and I’m looking forward.”

Next up for Taylor at 8am Irish time on Friday is Chorieva, who has already qualified herself. On the awarding of additional places by the International Olympic Committee’s Tripartite Commission, she added that there is a responsibility to make sure the best female talents are on show in London.

“I think there are a few wildcards still to be given out and it’s so important that they give them to the best boxers out there.

“There are so many great boxers out there who deserve to be in the Olympics and we need to showcase the best female talent in the world. So I hope they make the right decision.”

Listen to audio of the interview here

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Ben Blake

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