Amy Wall secures Ireland’s first ever kick-boxing gold medal at European Games

Aoife O’Rourke celebrated her 26th birthday with a gold medal win over French figher Davina Myrha Michel

Amy Wall is Ireland’s first ever European Games champion in kick-boxing, after the teacher from Bray delivered a superb performance to take gold in the women’s full contact -60kg category 3-0, dispatching of Norway’s Mariell Gaassan Straume.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, the Olympics, anything under that banner has been a dream since I was a kid. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll sit back and reflect, the emotions are racing right now,” the 22-year-old said following victory at the games in Krakow, Poland.

“I’m happy with how that went, the girl I was fighting is a well respected Norwegian. We’ve met before so I knew I was going to have it tough coming in, but the game plan worked and I executed everything that I needed to and I’m really happy with my performance.”

Wall will be the Irish flagbear during Sunday night’s closing ceremony in the Henryk Reyman Stadium.


Four other members of Team Ireland secured medals for kick-boxing: Nathan Tate took silver in 74kg point fighting category, Conor McGlinchey the same in the 84kg point fighting section. Nicole Bannon and Jodie Brown secured bronze medals in their respective events.

“It’s just amazing to be part of such a good team. Everyone’s supporting everyone and there’s five medals coming back home, it’s great. It’s hopefully only the start for us under the Olympic banner and let’s see what’s next,” Wall said of her team.

Meanwhile, Aoife O’Rourke celebrated her 26th birthday by being crowned European Games Champion in the Middleweight (75kg) final. A chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ rang out from Irish fans around the stadium as the Roscommon woman’s hand was lifted in a unanimous decision victory over Davina Myrha Michel, confirming her qualification for Paris 2024.

O’Rourke added a third gold medal to Team Ireland’s tally beating French fighter Michel, in impressive style, at the Nowy Targ Arena in Krakow, Poland.

‘I’m absolutely delighted, I’m just over the moon, I can’t believe it,” O’Rourke said after the fight.

“Coming out here the plan was to qualify but to end up with the gold medal is icing on the cake. No one mentioned my birthday all day and the minute my hand was raised they were all singing away, I think they had a bit of a plan in place.

“It’s a very special birthday for sure and I’m just absolutely delighted.”

The Tokyo Olympian looked in control of the fight from start to finish, winning all three rounds 5-0, 4-1, 5-0.

“You have to have confidence in yourself if you don’t you can’t expect other people to, you have the training done, and the hard work is put in so why wouldn’t you be confident and the coaches got the tactics spot on so thanks to them.

“It was a different style than what people would have seen me boxing all week but it’s great to see that I can mix it up and I can go in with a girl like that and actually box, and I’m delighted to get the result and against her today.”

After receiving the gold medal O’Rourke added: “I think hearing the national anthem is a great motivator for me anyway, once you get a taste of what it’s like to be at the top of the podium it’s something that you want to get back up and hear your national anthem being played. It’s a great honour to be representing Ireland, and I’m delighted to have come away with a gold medal and done the country proud.”

Head coach Zauri Anita can be very pleased with the return from these Games for his brilliant team. Five of the 12 boxers that travelled have qualified for Paris 2024, with nine having reached the quarter-final stage.

Team Ireland depart Poland with five medals: two bronze, for Dean Clancy and Michaela Walsh, silver for Heavyweight Jack Marley; notably the first major medal for Ireland in that weight division in almost eighty years, and golds for Kellie Harrington, and Aoife O’Rourke.