Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine has been selected to captain the Irish boxing team bound for Tokyo 2020 next month.
Team Ireland made the official announcement on Tuesday as the seven-strong team that will represent their country at the rescheduled Olympic Games was revealed.
Six of the team are set to compete in their first Senior Games but Irvine was on the team that went to Rio in 2016 and he sealed qualification for Tokyo in the European Olympic Qualifiers in London last year.
"We are excited to just get stuck in now. We have a strong team, with every single person going into the Olympic Games with a real opportunity to do something special," said Irvine at the announcement.
"The Olympics are like no other tournament, and I’m lucky to be going to my second. We all know that these Games will be different and that it will be a new experience for each of us, but especially on the back of what has been a tough and testing year, we are ready."
Joining the skipper in the ring for the tournament which runs in the Kokugikan Arena from 24 July to 8 August 2021 will be Dublin duo Kellie Harrington and Emmet Brennan, Roscommon's Aoife O’Rourke and Antrim trio Michaela Walsh, Aidan Walsh and Kurt Walker.
European Games Champion, Walker, was confirmed following the close of rankings while the other five sealed their spots via the European Olympic Qualifier in June.
The squad will head to the Games after strong performances in Paris last month. Three of the European Games medallists are part of the team, including gold medal winner Walker, and silver medallists Harrington and Walsh.
Walsh is joined on the team by her brother Aidan, as well as Brennan and 2019 European Champion, O’Rourke.
Team Ireland Boxing Performance Director, Bernard Dunne said: "They’re coming off a really tough tournament in Paris, and we have seven now qualified.
"We are now recovering from that and starting to really push ourselves in training before we head out to our training camp in Miyazaki before we do our final preparations before we move down to the Olympic Village on the 19th July.
"We are ready, we have a strong team, both male and female. We just need to manage ourselves as best we can once we get out there and get good work against the other world-class countries that are coming out to the training camp. Everyone is just looking forward to it. It has been pushed back, and there has been so much doubt over the past year and a half, so it’s great that it’s finally here. And that the guys get to perform on the biggest stage, which is the Olympic Games."
Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle added: "Boxing is Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, with a proud history of medal winning performers.
"Up until a few weeks ago we had one confirmed spot and so it was great to see the team rise to the occasion in Paris earlier this month to build qualification numbers to seven. We are looking forward to seeing this talented group of Boxers perform in Tokyo as part of Team Ireland."
TEAM IRELAND BOXING TEAM:
Brendan Irvine (Flyweight 52kg male)
Kurt Walker (Featherweight 57kg male)
Aidan Walsh (Welterweight 69kg male)
Emmet Brennan (Light Heavyweight 81kg male)
Michaela Walsh (Featherweight 57kg female)
Kellie Harrington (Lightweight 60kg female)
Aoife O’Rourke (Middleweight 75kg female)