Gold medal girl Katie Taylor makes Olympic history for Ireland
Sports Illustrated rates her as one of Games’ most popular athletes
Katie Taylormade Olympic history on Thursday afternoon when she defeated her Russian opponent to give Ireland its first gold medal and first gold medal in boxing in 20 years.
Boxer Michael Carruth was the last Irish boxer to bring home the boxing gold in 1992 at the Barcelona games. Ireland's Michelle Smith won gold in swimming in the 1996 Atlanta games, but was found guilty of doping.
The Bray native made history as she won the first lightweight gold medal in Olympic women's boxing. The fight had an extra edge after her opponent Sofya Ochivaga claimed Taylor was unfairly favored by referees.
“Ireland is in a financial crisis because they’ve spent all their money on Taylor’s referees” the Russian said, in the lead up to the final.
Taylor outpointed her opponent by 10-8 after a bruising encounter over four rounds in the women’s lightweight final, watched by thousands of Irish fans at the Olympic boxing stadium.
The Irish Republic came to a halt as millions left work early to watch Ireland’s best medal prospect in decades win out.
A thrilling third round, where Taylor scored a two point victory ensured her win, even though she seemed tired and struggled somewhat in the final round.
Throughout the fight a 10,000 strong Irish crowd chanted "Katie" and sang Ole inside London’s ExCeL arena.
Top ten facts about Irish Olympic hopeful Katie Taylor – VIDEO
Katie Taylor Photo Gallery here
The Daily Telegraph thinks Irish Olympic hero Katie Taylor is British
After the fight, Irish boxing hero Barry McGuigan praised Taylor and said she had defeated a very tough opponent.
Taylor who is from Bray, Co. Wicklow, began boxing after watching her father, Peter, train in the local gym.
She won the World Games title in 2010 and was widely favored to win gold at the Olympics.
After two decades of heartache, Ireland finally has another gold medal winner in an Olympics where Irish boxers have done the country, while other athletes have not succeeded, with the exception of showjumper Cian O’Connor, who won a bronze.
Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, reported that Taylor is one of the most popular athletes at the London Games.
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pronounced HESUS there were many born in December none were anything exceptional--all this rubbish stuff where are your brains guys & gals ?????Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Barry- I am a born and bred New Yorker. I was raised in one of its meanest City Projects, educated in its ghetto schools. Skin color has no meaning to25-car pile up looked like a “war zone”, snowy winter weather hits New York
Amazing how a little bit of slippery stuff screws up the the mundane average driver--Daughter of Sandy Hook principal wears wedding dress mom picked out
What a sad,sad thing. There will be a lot emptiness in their homes at Christmas this year. I feel overwhelmed for them. I hope that they know that God