Twins of Steel make history in the European Championships

What a week we had in the City West Hotel in Dublin last week as we had twins Jamie and Jason Harty boxing for Ireland as part of and 18 man strong team in the Schoolboys European Championships. To qualify for this they had to win the All Ireland Cadet titles, which they did months ago but the biggest problem after that was to make the same weight months later for these championships. As every-one else was enjoying the mighty fine weather these lads were training day and night to be one hundred per cent fit as its it is one thing to lose a fight due to skill or some other factor but to lose on fitness is not acceptable at this level, so the plan was made to train for 8 weeks twice a day with only a half day off on Sundays and all the time watching the weight. While their friends were all enjoying ice-cream cones on scorc-hing hot days these lads just looked on, drinking water, the dedication they showed to us, friends and family proves why they are among the best school boy boxers not just in Ireland but in Europe. So massive praise has to go to the dedicated lads. Jamie started off his campaign in the preliminaries as he took on a boxer from Armenia and boxed out of his skin to win 3-0 to book his place in the quarter finals against his opponent from the Czech Republic and to at least guarantee himself a bronze medal. What a fight it was as both lads went toe to toe but it was Jamie who had his hand raised as he won again 3-0.Next it was the semi-finals against the very tough Ukrainian switch hitter boxer and no one was given Jamie a chance but young Harty had other ideas as he boxed his best fight to date to take an unanimous decision again 3-0 to book his final place against the favourite the hard hitting Rus-sian Arsenii Smirnov. What a fight it was as Jamie had to box really cleverly to get one over on the Russian but unfortu-nately it wasn’t to be as the Russian was a brilliant counter puncher and was catching Jamie each time he missed and he took the fight at the end on all 3 cards and the winner of a gold medal at 48kgs, but what a championships it was for the young Askeaton lad absolutely fantastic. Next it was Jason’s turn and he started off in the quarter finals against the Scottish lad who was very tricky but Jason came out on top winning all three rounds and to get at least a bronze medal, but Jason wasn’t finished yet as he also took on a tough Ukrainian in the semi-final and what a close fight it was, a bit too close to call as both lads had some really good spells in the fight but luck was on our side as Jason’s hand was raised and booked his final place the next day against another Russian in Edgardo Tcambov again a very clever switch hitter and counter puncher. Right from the off Jason was on him and everyone in the hall thought Jason had done enough to win the title but luck wasn’t with us this time as the Russian took gold, but disappointed as we were we were actually over the moon for these lads. Everyone wants to win the gold but its not all about the winning. These two lads proved they are a force to be reckoned with, not only did they make history in the club as the first to bring home European medals but they are the first set of twins in Ireland to win medals at the same European Games. This is the highest level for these lads as there’s no world titles or Olympics at schoolboy level so they are just a punch off the best in all of Europe. Hopefully they will enjoy the next month off with their friends and family as they had spent the last 2 weeks in Dublin with the national team. We would like to thank all the people who made the journey to City West to cheer on the lads every day and to everyone who helped us raise funds for the mini-bus last Christmas. It was invaluable last week as it was full for every trip. We would also like to thank all our sponsors again for all the help they have given us as without them we wouldn’t have been able to get the necessary gear to train these lads and thanks to you the public for all your continuous support. Because of you we are one of the strongest clubs in Ireland and have some of the best boxers in Ireland and now Europe.