Amy Broadhurst retained her European U22 boxing title on Sunday. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Amy Broadhurst says nothing can compare to the feeling of retaining her European U22 Boxing title for the fifth year in succession.
The Dealgan club member, who turned 22 on Sunday, the day of her final, defeated Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli in the 60kg decider at the championships held Vladikavkaz, Russia.
It’s Broadhurst’s sixth European medal and comes just a matter of weeks after the southpaw claimed her 17th national title.
Having been controversially denied a medal at the World Championships in India last November, Broadhurst’s dream of a place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were placed in jeopardy.
However, despite having to overcome mental hurdles, she couldn’t be happier with her response to that setback.
“I wouldn’t have believed that this could happen at the beginning of the year because, after India, some of the days I wanted to train hard and then, the next day, I wondered ‘what’s the point?’,” she told The Democrat.
“I won my U22 title and qualified for these Europeans, but I went through a stage where I was like, ‘I’m not getting funding, I’m not being paid for this, I don’t want to do it anymore’.
“I go through stages where I feel like giving up, but look at what I’m just after achieving. I’d rather achieve all this than have money because there is no better feeling than winning and winning such a major title.”
Her final triumph came against last year’s European 64kg champion, Nicoli, and means Broadhurst will move up four kgs in weight in the hope of being selected for the end-of-year World Championships in Syberia, which will act as Olympic qualifiers. She is, however, expecting to box at her current weight for these.
Her father, Tony, was absent from last week’s championships, where Broadhurst overcame opposition from Turkey, Hungary and France, as well as Italy. It’s the first time he has failed to attend an elite competition in which his daughter has competed.
“For the first time in my life, he couldn’t come, but every day of my fights I was on FaceTime to him.
“It was hard to adapt, I went into my room on the day of the first fight and usually my dad is there to calm me down and set my mind straight. I started crying until I was like, ‘Amy, cop on to yourself…’
“Coming over, I wasn’t expecting to get gold because it just didn’t seem realistic to win five on the trot.
“People used to say that no-one is going to do what Katie Taylor did, nobody really thought anyone could win two or three on the trot, but I’m after winning five on the trot and a silver medal.
“Bernard Dunne had said to me that these Europeans would be a big test for me, with it being an Olympic year, but I didn’t let the pressure get to me, I knew once I performed to my best that that would be the main thing.
“Each fight and performance got better for me, which I was happy with, but there’s is obviously a lot of room for improvement still.”
The Irish convoy, including Dundalk’s serial champion, arrive back into Dublin Airport tonight.