KATIE TAYLOR’S place at Olympic Games in Rio is in doubt following her first loss since 2011 at the hands of Azerbaijan's Yana Alekseevna.
The Bray boxer only needed to win to assure her place at the Games, but all three judges scored the European Olympic qualifiers semi-final bout in favour of Alekseevna, who progresses automatically to the showpiece event in Brazil instead.
Taylor still has hope of defending her 60kg lightweight in Rio, where the boxing is scheduled to start on August 6, but she must advance as far as the semi-finals of the Women’s World Boxing championship next month.
The 29-year-old, who had not lost since suffering a contentious decision defeat to Bulgaria's Denitsa Eliseeva five years ago, will now have to motivate herself for Sunday’s third-place play-off at the European Olympic qualifiers in Turkey.
It is not the first time Alekseevna has caused Taylor problems, but the lightweight must come to terms with losing for the first time in 62 fights ahead of next month’s crucial tournament, the Women’s World Boxing championship, in Astana.