What a week for Roscommon sport!
First, Castlerea Boxing Club member, Aoife O’Rourke, became only the second Irish female fighter after Katie Taylor to win gold at the European Elite Women’s Boxing Championships when she stormed to victory over Polish opponent lziebta Wojcik in Saturday’s 75kg final. O’Rourke was greeted by thousands of supporters in Castlerea last Sunday as she returned home with the belt.
Aoife fights under Paddy Sharkey in Castlerea and her sister Lisa is also an accomplished fighter. What made her European victory even sweeter was the fact that she enjoyed a measure of revenge over Russian Youth Olympic and World Youth champion Anastasia Shamonova in a hard-fought semi-final. Shamonova had beaten Aoife in the European U-22 Championships earlier in the year.
Elsewhere, Kiltoom native Jack Carty seized his Rugby World Cup opportunity with both hands during Ireland’s recent warm-up game against Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Jack celebrated his 27th birthday by donning the fabled Irish number 10 jersey for the first time.
A confident display from the Connacht fly-half earned him not only the ‘Man of the Match’ award but also a seat on Team Ireland’s flight to Japan!
Japan is a country that certainly resonates with our two sporting heroes this week. Jack is already on his way there to wear the green while Aoife will be hoping to seal her passage to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ for next year’s Olympics.
Maybe it’s time Roscommon County Council reached out the Tokyo Twinning Committee…