Hickey delighted that Women's Boxing is included for 2012

August 13, 2009

Boxing had been the only Olympic event without any female participants.

Three women’s weight classes will be added, with one men’s class dropped to make room for them.

Taylor today expressed her delight that she will have an opportunity to fulfil her ambition.

“I’m absolutely thrilled. This is a dream come true, not only for me, but for female boxers throughout the world who have worked so hard to gain Olympic status,” said Taylor.

“Our sport has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and this decision has added a whole new dimension to the sport as we now have the chance to compete in the Olympic Games,” she added.

Olympic Council of Ireland and European Olympic President Pat Hickey said,

“This is a great result for Ireland and Katie Taylor’s Olympic prospects. I’ve worked long and hard at getting this outcome, personally lobbying the IOC President and Executive Board members in recent weeks and months.

I am very pleased that my groundwork and persistence has paid off so well.”

Olympic Council of Ireland Chief Executive Stephen Martin added,

“We delighted to see Katie Taylor get an opportunity to compete in Olympic competition. We will work closely with the IABA to ensure the changes in Olympic boxing disciplines are maximised for London 2012”

The plans drawn up by the International Boxing Federation are for 40 female boxers to compete.

There will be five weight categories, with eight women fighting at each weight.

The men’s event will lose 40 places over 11 weights, the number of fighters being reduced to 286 athletes.

Rugby 7’s and Golf have been recommended by the IOC Executive Board for inclusion in the sports programme for 2016, two sports Ireland can compete at in world terms.

Pat Hickey, in Berlin today said,

“Hopefully these sports will be selected by the full IOC membership in October. If so they give Ireland excellent medal opportunities in the years to come and for talent such as Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy to compete at the Olympic Games.

As President of the European Olympic Committee I will be lobbying hard for the inclusion of these sports by the IOC members.”

Olympic Council of Ireland CEO Stephen Martin added,

“I hope that both Golf and Rugby 7’s are ratified by the IOC members in October and we look forward to sitting down with both Federations to plan a strategy for their inclusion in 2016”

Golf was played at the 1900 Paris Olympics and 1904 St. Louis Games. The sport’s backers say bringing the game back into the Olympics would help it develop worldwide.

Tiger Woods and other top players have indicated they would play in the Olympics if golf gets the nod from the IOC.

“Golf is a truly global sport and it should have been in the Olympics a while ago,” Woods said .” it will be great for golf and some of the other small countries that are now emerging in golf.”

Golf proposes a 72-hole stroke-play competition for men and women, with 60 players in each field. The world’s top 15 players would qualify automatically, and all major professional tours would alter tournament schedules to avoid a clash with the Olympics.

Rugby, which was played in four different Olympics between 1900 and 1924 in the full 15-a-side format, proposes the 7-a-side version for both men and women. The International Rugby Board would scrap its Sevens World Cup to ensure the Olympics is the sport’s top event.

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