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'Just One Step Of The Ladder': Gráinne Walsh On Famous National Title Win

'Just One Step Of The Ladder': Gráinne Walsh On Famous National Title Win
By Michael Bolton Updated
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At the National Elite Boxing Championships on Saturday, Gráine Walsh stole the headlines, as she defeated European and World Champion Amy Broadhurst.

While much of the attention was on Broadhurst as she moved up to 66kg, Gráinne Walsh made a huge statement to come away with a 3-2 win and become national champion.

After just three fights in the last three years, the Offaly fighter came in somewhat under the radar, but showed why she is a fighter to watch in 2023, as she looks to build on last weekend's success.

Speaking to Balls, Gráinne Walsh has spoken on what the victory has meant to her, and why it can be a platform to build off.

It's been a mad few days since then. You train so hard for that moment, and it does come and go very quick. I've a week off training now, so I'm just trying to bask in the glory of it before I get back to the hard work.

I'm absolutely thrilled. Amy was in unbelievable form last year, and I had to sit on the sides and watch everything unfold while I was injured, so I'm just delighted to be back in  position where I am competing again.

To beat Amy on such an important night and at the start of such an important year, it meant a lot and I'm really delighted with myself."

Injuries over the last three years has seen Walsh miss out on several competitions, while other boxers, such as Broadhurst, have achieved huge success for Ireland.

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This made victory on Saturday all the more special, as she hopes it was the start of an injury free year that will bring her create her own memories for Irish boxing fans.

I was even saying to my family afterwards, I can't imagine what an Olympic medal would feel like.

I think it just gave me that bit more determination and stuff in my mind,  I think that  gave me the edge on the night and it's really been the most humbling experience the last three years to be on the bottom of the barrel and I've been kind of just looking upwards ever since waiting to climb and that was the first step on the ladder.

When you get injured, the team still marches on and you just have to remove yourself from that and watch everything unfold, which is mentally tough. The physical side of it was a breeze to be honest, I was able to deal with the pain.

It was just the mental pain and training so hard to get to those, those competitions and then it's, it seemed to be four weeks out from each competition I ended up picking up the injury, which was really really tough.

The main thing that helped me through all that was taking myself off social media and like avoiding my kind of exposure. I suppose when I was no longer a part of it, but I always knew in the back of my head that if I could overcome it, that I'd have my time again and I feel like 2023, is that's the start of a very busy and hopefully successful year for myself."

Gráinne Walsh On Why She Started Boxing 

In another life, Gráinne Walsh would be currently be training in preparation for the National Women's League.

Prior to realising her talents in boxing, Walsh was playing with Shamrock Rovers, and had seen her future with the sport.

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However, a visit to her local town from Katie Taylor changed Gráinne Walsh's life forever, as she fell in love with the sport of boxing.

I came from a soccer background, I was playing soccer for Shamrock Rovers and it was like the first year where I wasn't playing in like a summer soccer league and I needed something to keep me fit and Katie Taylor was coming to tell a more to officially open a boxing club that was literally a stone's throw from my house.

So I kind of said like, oh I fancy my chances, I get to meet Katie Taylor and I train away from summer, keep the fitness up and then just go back to the soccer and then I met my coach Dima Dmitruk inspired more and kind of just blossomed from there and I've never looked back, I tried to keep boxing and soccer on together for about two years, but I ended up chasing two dreams and kind of progressing in neither.

So I think the individuality of boxing kind of stuck with me and having kate taylor as, as a role model was a massive, massive inspiration and something that you could really look towards so I can curl offer for inspiring me and you know, that's what it's all about as well as inspiring the younger generation."

Looking forward to the rest of this year, the Offaly boxer's main priorities is staying injury free, as Walsh aims for success in the European Championships, which are held in Minsk, Poland, where she won bronze in 2019.

With the Olympics in Paris just over 18 months away, qualification would be a dream for Walsh after overcoming so many difficulties in the last three years.

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I'd love to qualify this year at the European Games in June so that's definitely my main focus, but also staying injury free and gaining as much experience as I can and getting back to top positions in the world and in Europe to just slowly climb because it's all a journey and like I said Saturday was just one step of the ladder and one piece of that puzzle of, hopefully it'll be the fairy tale ending at the end."

SEE ALSO: Croke Park Director Gives Timeline For Katie Taylor Homecoming 

 

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