Boxing enthusiasts got another sneak preview of Olympic talent at Queen’s University PEC where Olympic boxers from Australia and Ecuador joined Canada and Argentina in a pre-Games training camp.
17 countries have chosen Northern Ireland as their base for final preparations for London 2012, a success Sport Northern Ireland’s Dr Shaun Ogle is delighted with saying, “The Cuban and Puerto Rican teams have already graced the boxing rings in Belfast, Banbridge, Glengormley and Monkstown before departing earlier this week for the Olympic Village. As the Chinese Gymnastic team finish their preparations in Lisburn this weekend, we also have the South African badminton team arriving.”
“It’s been a busy few weeks but a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland to be directly involved in the Olympic Games, and for our athletes to be motivated and inspired. Local boxers have been sparring with Olympians; gymnasts and their coaches have been learning from the Chinese gold medal winners; and last night our track and field athletes were competing side by side with Olympians at the Brian Downing Memorial meet. Such opportunities do not arise very often.”
Sentiments echoed by the DCAL Permanent Secretary, Rosalie Flanagan, “I am certain events such as this will inspire people to get more involved in sport. Our success in attracting Pre-Games training camps here have once again proven our ability to host international athletes and events and in doing so shown what a great place this is to visit, train or compete.”
Women's boxing will be part of the Olympic Games programme for the first time in London and both Australia and Canada have medal hopes for their respective boxers Naomi Fischer-Rasmussen (Middleweight) and Mary Spencer (Middleweight). The two female boxers, joined the other 20 Olympians in an exciting training session watched by local boxing enthusiasts and representatives from Belfast City Council and Queen’s PEC.
The Argentine and Canadian teams depart this weekend for the Olympic Village with Australia and Ecuador leaving on the 24th.