Amy Broadhurst: Irish World champion boxer believes her Olympic dream is over

Irish boxer Amy Broadhurst thinks her chances of competing at the Paris Olympics are over.

The World, European and Commonwealth Games champion says the Irish Amateur Boxing Association [IABA] has informed her that she will not be assessed for the second World Qualifying tournament, which is due to take place at the end of May in Bangkok.

According to Broadhurst, the High Performance Unit want to assess the 27-year-old and another world champion, Lisa O'Rourke, for the upcoming European Championships instead of sending them to Thailand.

She says that will not be happening.

"It's a bit of a mess and I'm struggling to wrap my head around what is going on," she told BBC Sport NI.

"I've let my psychologist know to let them know that I won't be up in the high performance centre for the foreseeable future, and I'll be really thinking about not going back up at all."

When contacted by BBC Sport NI, IABA had no comment to make in response to Broadhurst's remarks, as selection across all weights has yet to be made.

It appears that Irish champion Grainne Walsh will be selected to go to Thailand, although selection for the Olympic qualifier has not been made yet.

The Offaly boxer narrowly missed out on making the Paris Olympics earlier this month when she suffered a surprising split decision defeat in the quota bout.

Broadhurst was under the impression that the three boxers in line for selection would be assessed together for the opportunity to be selected for the Thailand qualifier.

Her belief now is that no longer will happen.

"Grainne performed well at the qualifiers but, with all due respect, against average boxers, not the likes of the Turks or the Chinese," Broadhurst said.

"That Polish girl who beat her [Aneta Rygielska] won't medal at the Olympics. And if you're looking at results and everything, I've beaten that same Pole 5-0, so I honestly don't know the thinking process."

Despite losing to Walsh in a tight 2023 National final, Broadhurst, through an internal assessment process, was selected for the European Games in Poland last June.

She lost at the quarter-final stage to Team GB boxer Rosie Eccles in a bout that had she won, then she would have qualified for the Olympics.

Injury prevented Broadhurst and O'Rourke from competing at this year's Irish Nationals, where Walsh defended her title, and was therefore given the chance in Italy to claim the welterweight place for Team Ireland at the Olympics.

When she failed to do so, Broadhurst believed she would get the opportunity to keep her Olympic dream alive and that her record should have spoken for itself.

"As a head coach your main goal in picking a team is who can win an Olympic medal. In the last five tournaments I have had for Ireland, four out of five I've returned with a gold medal," she said.

"I lost at the Europeans because, in the background, there was a lot going on. And even with that I didn't perform to the best of my ability and I walked away with a slim 3-2 split decision.

"Everyone deserves an opportunity. I deserved an opportunity to try again. The fair thing to do in that situation was to let us all three of us compete for it."

Broadhurst says she will appeal any decision around selection but is not holding out much hope of it being successful, with a switch to professional boxing potentially on the horizon.

At the moment, Broadhurst seems resigned to missing out on her Paris.

"The plan after the Olympics was always to go pro but originally when I started out in boxing being a pro boxer was never my ambition and to not get what I set out for 22 years ago is very hard to deal with and it feels like wasting time.

"I missed out a lot over my life because of boxing and all for one tournament. To snatch it from me without a chance is sickening."