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Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Brendan Irvine

The 20-year-old Belfast native will be one of the youngest Irish competitors at the Games.

Brendan Irvine will be hoping he's celebrating again in Rio.
Brendan Irvine will be hoping he's celebrating again in Rio.
Image: Ilyas Gun/INPHO

Event: Men’s boxing, flyweight

Who is he? The 20-year-old became the fifth Irish boxer to qualify for Rio which followed up his silver medal at the inaugural European games in Baku in 2015.

Where’s he from? Irvine is a Belfast native.

Olympic CV: Considering Irvine was born just before the Atlanta Games in 1996, it should come as no surprise that this will be his first Olympics.

Road to Rio: Irvine had a nervous wait for qualification as he lost his European Olympic Qualifiers semi-final to Narek Abgaryan in April this year.

That forced him into a last-chance box-off with Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov. However, ‘Wee Rooster’ put in a near perfect performance to book his ticket to Rio.

When does he start? Irvine’s prelim doesn’t take place until Saturday 13 August in the afternoon session, starting at 3pm.

Where can I follow him? You’ll get him @weerooster on Twitter:

What he says: ”I have that fire burning in my belly. When I was a kid I never dreamt of making the European or World Championships it was always about the Olympics.”

“There’s no reason why any of us shouldn’t bring medals home especially with the work we have put in over the last couple of months – and I think it will show in the Olympics.” (IABA TV, July 2016)

Medal chances? Irvine is a 25/1 outsider for the gold with Cuba’s Yosvany Veitia the 3/1 favourite. Britain’s Muhammad Ali (9/1) is also among the leading medal contenders with Elvin Mamishzada (7/2) of Azerbaijan.


And here’s something you probably didn’t know… Irvine hadn’t even started secondary school when Paddy Barnes won his first Olympic medal.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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