IRELAND’S gold medal bidding boxer Katie Taylor says she was “thrilled to bits” after learning that Donegal goalie Shay Given had travelled to London – to watch her semi-final!
Raphoe badminton Olympian Chloe Magee was also in the stadium for the incredible bout which has set up this afternoon’s Olympic final.
“Oh that’s amazing, really, the support is incredible,” said Katie when told the Aston Villa star had managed to get a day off pre-season training to be there.
“Everyone’s comments have been unbelievable over the last few days too. To have people like that come out to support you as well is great.
“Shay is one of my heroes, definitely. He’s a huge star obviously at home.”
Given himself was delighted to be there!
“It’s class. It was like being in Dublin or something. There was a GB fighter on before and the Irish made 10 times more noise than them,” said the Lifford man.
“We were just here to be part of the fans and to support her. We’re all Irish at the end of the day. It’s fantastic that we can really get behind her. Please God she brings home the gold.
“I’m training so I can’t go to the final but I had the day off and managed to get tickets so I came here for this and I’m glad I did “It was amazing. It was great to see her live. I’ve seen her on TV of course, in the last fight, and it was great to be here to watch her in action. She was fantastic.
“I’ve not met her but I’d like to meet her one day. She’s a fantastic talent. She’s brilliant for the country.
“The fans were amazing as well. It was just nice to be here to sample the atmosphere and to see how good and how quick she is and how hard she punches.
“She’s a real role model and athlete. She obviously works so hard behind the scenes, which people don’t see.
“We turn up and watch her for a few rounds but the amount of work she and her dad put in behind the scenes, the dedication she is putting in is fantastic. She’s a great talent and we’re lucky she’s Irish. I think she’s great.”