Aoife O'Rourke Shines Despite Olympic Defeat

Aoife O'Rourke Shines Despite Olympic Defeat
By Andrew Dempsey
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Aoife O’Rourke bowed out of the Olympic Games on Wednesday thanks to a unanimous decision defeat to Chinese boxer Qian Li.

It was a harsh defeat for the Castlerea native who was more than in the fight against the joint-favourite for Olympic gold.

O’Rourke was bested in a tight opening round, before then suffering a surprising defeat in the second round despite appearing in control of proceedings.

After suffering that blow on the judges scorecards, it was always going to be an uphill battle ahead of the third round. And it was a battle too much for a spirited O’Rourke.

The 24-year-old started the fight as the aggressor, but she was edged out by some moments of class from her Chinese counterpart.

And after an encouraging opening round, the Co. Roscommon boxer produced a stirring second-round performance.

O’Rourke looked to have edged many of the exchanges, appearing on course to level matters heading into the final round.


But it was not to be as the judges awarded Li the round despite some apparent holding which stopped the Irishwoman getting into her flow.

“There was a lot of holding going on there from Qian Li,” Kenneth Egan said on RTE after the fight. “I though the referee was very poor in that fight.


“In fairness to her she was sneaking in and out at times doing it on the referee’s blindside, but any good ref would see that.


“She was doing that intentionally and on a regular basis. She needed to be warned for that and that would have swayed the fight.

“But Aoife put on a great performance. She had an uphill battle after the first round losing on the scorecards.

“I thought she won the second round myself to be honest and she didn’t do enough in the third round.


“But it was a great performance for such a young girl. There’s definitely another Olympics in here in three years’ time when she goes to Paris, please God.

“It’s unfortunate because it was such a great performance, but it is what it is.”

And the refereeing of the contest was also called out by fellow RTE boxing analyst Eric Donovan.


“I think she was done a bit harsh by the referee,” he added. “We speak so much after about the judging and refereeing now that it has to be on point after Rio.

"I don’t know how many cautions Qian Li got for holding. Because she was holding so much it wouldn’t allow Aoife get into her flow.”

Watch: Kurt Walker Was Buzzing After Shocking Gold Medal Favourite In Tokyo


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