Donnelly’s olympic dream still alive

Steven Donnelly notched his fourth World Series Boxing win in Argentina.

Steven Donnelly notched his fourth World Series Boxing win in Argentina.

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Steven Donnelly expects to hear this week if his Olympic boxing dream is to become a reality.

It appears that the local welterweight looks to have secured his place for Rio following events at the Russian boxing championships in Samara on Sunday.

However the situation won’t be clarified officially for another week at least.

Russia have ‘qualified’ boxers via both the World Series of Boxing (Radzhab Butaev) in which Donnelly competed earlier this year and the AIBA Professional Boxing (Andrey Zamkovoy).

Only one could qualify and at the Russian championships the favourite Zamkovoy defeated Butaev to seemingly copper fasten his place at the 2016 Games.

With Butaev now out of the equation as regards a place in Rio, it leaves the door open for Donnelly to take the second guaranteed spot available to WSB boxers.

Many observers would feel that Donnelly would deserve this stroke of good fortune after a visa mix-up prevented him from entering Azerbaijan during WSB qualifying, resulting in a defeat which ultimately cost him one of the three qualifying places
on offer.

“It would be a dream come true if it works out but I’ll not get too excited,” Donnell recently told the
Times.

“I was on the verge of hanging up the gloves recently but this has brought a bit of life back into me,” added Steven, who will miss the forthcoming Irish Seniors but hopes to be back fighting in WSB again in January.

It is not confirmed and there could be further twists in this saga yet – as even if Donnelly secures the Olympic spot he could face a box-off in Ireland against London Olympian Adam Nolan.