Darren O’Neill’s hopes of representing Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio have come to an end after the Kilkenny man lost a unanimous decision to Nigeria’s Wesley Apochi.
With only one spot available in 91kg class, the Paulstown native would have to have picked up the gold medal to ensure a place at the games.
O’Neill took to Facebook account from Baku this afternoon to express his disappointment.
“Today was not my day. I lost 2 rounds to 1 on all judges cards. To say I’m gutted is an understatement. I didn’t perform to my best but credit to my opponent he was strong, aggressive and awkward and didn’t give me a chance to box how I wanted. After London I never thought I’d be still at it now but it has been a fantastic journey since and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in my career. A huge thanks to my dad Ollie who got me into the sport and trained me to be what I am, brothers Aidan & Daniel who helped me training and mam Carmel, who, along with the others helped me in every aspect of my life. A huge thanks also to Tal Coyle who has supported me enormously in everything for the last four years. Much love for the support guys.”
The result marked a day of contrasting fortunes for the Irish as Michael O’Reilly advanced into the last 16, the European Games middleweight overcoming Vitalia Bandarenka (Belarus) on a unanimous decision. Two more wins gets him to Brazil this summer.