IABA director says Broadhurst omission was handled correctly

IABA director says Broadhurst omission was handled correctly

Patricia Heberle, Ireland's boxing's Performance Director, has claimed the decision not to select Amy Broadhurst as one of the 10 Irish athletes as part of the Olympic boxing qualification squad was made within the framework of boxing rules.

Broadhurst, one of Ireland's brightest fighters, won multiple titles for Ireland before the Olympic selection saga.

There was an expectation that Broadhurst would be one of the boxers selected to represent Ireland, but that wasn't the case.

The Dundalk boxer preferred fighting at 60 kg, but countries can only qualify one boxer per weight for Paris, and reigning Olympic lightweight champion Kellie Harrington has already secured qualification.

Shortly after this, rumours emerged that Broadhurst would be making a switch to Team GB, and those rumours came true days later. Broadhurst qualifies for the team through her father, Tony, who is English.

Her Paris Olympic dream was then ended for a second time after the Dundalk native went down 4-1 to her Korean rival Yeonji Oh in the 60 kg division.

The decision not to take Broadhurst has been met with lots of interesting commentary and debates about where her allegiances lie now that she has represented Team GB as well as Ireland.

Heberle, the IABA's High-Performance Director, has commented on the issue this week, claiming she had seen the statement from Broadhurst on Instagram, but she had a job to do as the IABA Performance Director.

Amy Broadhurst (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

"I like to post on Twitter myself, but I’m not a great one for social media and boxing sites," Heberle said.

"I have a look every now and then, but the key thing for me is not to be distracted. My job is to keep that bigger picture view of what we’re trying to achieve, and I just keep bringing myself back to ‘we’re trying to qualify eight athletes and win three medals at the Olympic Games.’

"But everyone’s human. Yeah, there was noise, but in this world we’re allowed to have different opinions on things, and we also probably have different recollections of things that happen."

Heberle also claimed that despite the noise generated since not selecting Broadhurst, they did everything by the book and acted in the right way.

The Australian also claimed that the only thing she was concerned about was the fighters who represent Ireland and not anyone else.

"I’m very pleased with how we handled it, because we basically handled it by the jurisdiction I have as the chair of the selection panel," she added.

"We have things we have to do. Elite sports are not fair, and lots of kids have Olympic dreams. Olympic dreams aren’t exclusive to one athlete, and, yeah, there was empathy for Amy because she was one of our athletes.

"But you just can’t be distracted. We have to be bigger than that, and I have to keep reiterating that message to keep my staff focused because they’re all humans, and often things are put out which are completely incorrect.

"But what’s the point of going there? Amy Broadhurst is a British athlete, and I’ll keep saying that the only athletes I’m interested in are the people in front of me, and they’re all wearing green."

The Olympics will take place between Friday, July 26, 2024, and Sunday, August 11, 2024.