Amy Broadhurst's Olympic dream shattered as former GB coach hits out

Amy Broadhurst
-Credit: (Image: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)

Amy Broadhurst says her 'heart hurts like it's never hurt before' after her Olympic dreams were dashed with defeat in the quarter-final of the 60kg division of the Olympic qualifiers.

The Dundalk native, 27, won World, European and Commonwealth Games gold in 2022 but lost 4-1 to Yeonji Oh of Korea in the last eight, with only the top three progressing to the Paris Games.

Broadhurst, who has never competed at the Olympics, switched to Great Britain in March after not being selected in the Ireland team for the final qualifier in Bangkok. She holds a British passport as her father was born in England.

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Former GB National performance coach John Stubbs posted on Instagram regarding his annoyance at the situation.

"After thousands of pounds spent on Gemma Richardson and Shona Whitwell, their Irish replacement fails to qualify," he fumed. "Absolutely nothing against Amy, but as for those that let this happen.... Justice done."

GB Boxing has turned off comments on their post about it.

Broadhurst has defended her move on social media and says she was made feel at home with Team GB.

"My heart hurts like it's never hurt before. There was a dream inside of me since I was a little girl and today that flame slowly died out," Broadhurst said on Instagram after the loss on Friday.

"My whole life has all been about the Olympic Games, I made my life all about boxing and today I suffered my biggest blow. Some people might criticise my decision for switching allegiance, those people are probably sitting at home who wouldn't have a pair of balls to do what l done.

"If everyone had any idea what I went through for the past 12 months you would very well understand why I done what I done and in saying that I have no regrets at all about the decisions l've made. I give myself every opportunity I could to get to the Olympic Games but that wasn't God's plan for me. I ticked every box in the book, I trained my ass off & I done everything correctly and I'm proud of myself.

"Since joining team GB l've been made feel at home. The way I was treated, the people who took me under their wing and done all they could for me & the boxers themselves made this decision worth it.

"These people brought back the love for boxing that I was missing and lit a fire in me that I haven't felt for a long time! I haven't been this happy in a long time and I'm very grateful for the people that I got to meet along this journey They took a chance on me and believed in me and unfortunately I couldn't return the favour.

"I'm taking some time from social media & from boxing now. But I would just like to thank everybody who supported me from Ireland from GB SK I would like to thank the GB coaches & staff for all their hard work and making me feel I belong. I'd like to thank the boxers who welcomed me with open arms and made this journey enjoyable Special shout to @jess_smith for braiding me hair & taking serious snaps Thanks for everything, Amy."

Recently, former Olympian Michael Conlan warned Broadhurst that she risked losing fans by switching to Team GB.

He told the Irish Mirror : "I can and I can't understand the decision she has made. I can understand she wants to be an Olympian, she wants to achieve what she wants to achieve but for what purpose.

"If her only goal in life is to be an Olympic champion, I get it, but if she wants to go pro, earn millions and be a world champion with a fantastic following from Ireland, she's done the wrong thing because Irish people aren't really going to back her for that reason."

Meanwhile, Belfast boxer Aidan Walsh will now have to come through the box-offs at his 71kg weight if he is to make it to Paris.

Walsh had an opportunity on Friday morning to book his ticket to a second consecutive Olympics but lost his world qualifier quarter-final in Bangkok.

He would have been the seventh Irish boxer guaranteed to compete at the Games but went down 4-1 to Jordanian opponent Zeyad Eashash. With five places available at his weight, Walsh will get another chance to emulate his sister Michaela in making it to Paris.

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