Aoife O’Rourke admits it hasn’t quiet sunk in as she brought her European Elite gold medal back to Castlerea.
21-year-old O’Rourke produced a powerful display in Madrid on Saturday night to score a unanimous points decision over Poland’s Elzebieta Wojcik.
“I was shocked at the end” O’Rourke told Shannonside Sport. “I was so emotional, and it’s great to see hard work paying off. It hasn’t even sunk in.”
“Anytime I came back to the corner, after every round and if things weren’t working there was a plan B, everything was kept simple and then just digging deep when I had to.”
“Just to be the aggressor, that’s my style of boxing and thankfully it worked out, even after the first round I knew I had to dig deep.”
“I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet, but I think it was down to my coaches they had the tactics spot on” smiled O’Rourke, “It is fantastic to come out with the win and land the gold medal.”
While O’Rourke adjusted to her fame as a new European champion with eyes now set on the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, the Roscommon woman never doubted her ability to land gold.
“I did, and I definitely believe in my ability” declared O’Rourke. “it was the first time I went into a tournament relaxed and not thinking about the result, if I could box the best I could be, I’d win.”
“I didn’t know I was the only other girl besides Katie Taylor to reach final. I didn’t expect any of it, the support I have got it was phenomenal.”
Calmly recalling the victory, O’Rourke produced a storming last round, including an impressive combo in the final 30 seconds which sealed victory.
“I wasn’t sure, I don’t really know what was going through my head I was just relaxed” admitted O’Rourke who didn’t hold back in the final round.
“As long as I gave my best performance I was going to be happy” added O’Rourke. “When you hear there’s the last few seconds left your as well not to think!”
“Everyone wants that gold medal, every girl in my division, out of the three boxes I fought, it was three tough fights.”
O’Rourke’s next target is the World Women’s Boxing championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia, beginning in just a month’s time on October third.