The Olympics – The Agony and Ecstasy
Today has been a strange day at the Olympics for Ireland, Michael Conlon saw his dreams of Olympic Gold go up in smoke after a unanimous points win for Russian Boxer Vladimir Nikitin. This decision has been with a barrage of criticism from those inside the Boxing world and also a number of people not involved in the boxing game.
The three judges from Brazil, Poland and Sri Lanka awarded the first round in favour of the Russian then awarded the second round to Conlon before awarding the third round in favour of the Russian. This particular call has caused widespread consternation with many people calling into question the officiating at these Games with a number of bouts being decided by split decision.
In the immediate aftermath of the decision, Michael Conlon was interviewed and you could see he was in total shock and really angry with the decision saying “That’s it he was done with amateur boxing “and that “Amateur Boxing is rotten from the top to the core.” Strong words but this guy has worked his backside off for the past 10 years to win Olympic Gold, he won Bronze 4 years ago in London and stated then he would be back in Rio to win Gold….
Unfortunately for Michael Conlon, he didn’t get the decision in his favour even though he and most of the crowd felt he won the bout. The three judges didn’t see it the same way. This particular talking point along with another questionable decision from a heavyweight bout last night, that involved another Russian boxer where he was awarded victory although many people have again questioned the scoring of the bout.
The defeat , controversial as it was will not take away from the fact that Ireland travelled to Rio with 8 Boxers with at least 6 in with chances of medals alas none of boxers will return from Rio with a medal. This notwithstanding should not take away from the pleasure and great joy that each of these boxers have given us in the last 8 years or so. Conlon has stated it’s the Professional ranks for him with or without another Olympic medal. He will do great things as a Pro and I have no doubt he be a World Champ in 3 years.
Moving to the Laser Radial Medal race where Annalise Murphy was hoping to right the wrongs of four years ago where she finished 4th in the Medal race after leading the competition from the start. She finished 5th in today’s race thus securing a first Olympic sailing medal for Ireland since 1980. David Wilkins and James Wilkinson won Silver in the Flying Dutchman Class in Moscow
Annalise Murphy realised a childhood dream today by winning an Olympic medal , Her Mam competed in Seoul in 1988 so today’s achievement will be all the sweeter in the Murphy household.
These two moments show how fickle sport can be, one moment your down and out then you’re on top of the world again. Huge commiserations to Michael Conlon, I have no doubt you’ll win a World title inside the next three years. To Annalise Murphy, well done on realising a childhood dream and delivering Ireland’s second medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics.