Tokyo 2020: Belfast flyweight Irvine aims for Olympic medal success

Brendan Irvine defeated Istavan Szaka in London last year to qualify for the Olympics

Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine says he can return home with a medal from the Tokyo Games after a disappointing Olympic debut in 2016.

Irvine, who was confirmed on the Irish team on Wednesday after qualifying for Japan last year, was beaten in his first round at the Rio Games.

“I was trapped in this Olympic bubble – I won’t let myself be influenced like I was in Rio,” said the 24-year-old.

“If I can relax and get into the groove, I know I can walk away with a medal.”

The Commonwealth Games and the European medalist earned a spot in Tokyo at the qualifiers in London last March – they were stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic soon after his win against Hungary’s Istavan Szaka.

His selection for the Irish Olympic team was officially confirmed on Wednesday and he will compete at the Kokugikan Arena between July 26th and August 7th.

Ireland failed to win boxing medals in Rio but Irvine is hoping for a much better result in Tokyo.

“There’s no reason we can’t win medals. If we’re doing the best we can, there’s no reason we can’t take medals home,” added Irvine.

“I am very happy that it has been officially confirmed and that my place at the Games is guaranteed. I am looking forward to it and know that it will be very different from the last Olympic Games.”

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