Steven Donnelly secures Rio place

December 2, 2015

Congratulations to Steven Donnelly who secured a place in the 69kg category at the 31st Olympiad, Rio 2016.

Donnelly now joins his fellow Ulster boxers, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes together with Joe Ward as confirmed boxers in the Rio Games.

Pat Hickey OCI President said “We are absolutely delighted for Steven. We received confirmation that Donnelly has been offered a quota place for the Olympics and delighted to accept his spot for Rio. It is fantastic news for Irish Boxing”.

Donnelly competed in the World Boxing Series for the Hussars franchise, based in Poland.

How it happened for @Steven_Donnelly

  • Steven Donnelly won five of his six bouts and would have almost certainly finished higher than fourth in the rankings ( he couldn’t take part in one of his scheduled fights due to a visa mix-up)
  • The top two rated boxers in the series earned automatic qualifying for Rio
  • The number one ranked welterweight in the WSB series Mohammed Rabii from Morocco won the gold medal at the World championships which earned him a place in Rio.
  • Similar to Ireland’s Michael Conlan – Rabii had effectively qualified twice for Rio.
  • The AIBA, the governing body of world boxing, ruled that boxers who qualified for Rio at the World championships had to take up that slot which effectively moved Donnelly up to third place in WSB rankings.
  • Then in another twist two Russian boxers qualified in the welterweight category for Rio, Radzhab Butaev, who finished second In the WSB series, and Andrey Zamkovoy – who qualified for Rio via AIBA Pro series.
  • Each country is allowed one boxer in a weight category and the Russian pair boxed off at the Russian championships in Samara last Sunday. As expected, Zamkovoy – who beat Ireland’s Adam Nolan on his way to winning a bronze medal at the London Olympics – won the bout
  • This result effectively cleared the way for Donnelly to be promoted to second in the WSB rankings and earn his place in Rio.


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