Welterweight Steven Donnelly qualifies for Rio 2016 Olympics

Steven Donnelly
Steven Donnelly picked up a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Welterweight Steven Donnelly has become the fourth Irish boxer to secure a place at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Donnelly, 26, has had his participation confirmed as the 4 December deadline for nations to confirm their qualified boxers approaches.

The Ballymena boxer had a chance to make it to Brazil by virtue of his performance in the World Series of Boxing, in which he finished fourth.

Donnelly joins Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and Joe Ward in the Irish team.

On Sunday, at the Russian National Championships in Samara, Andrey Zamkovoy defeated Radzhab Butaev to put himself, and by extension Donnelly, in pole position for qualification.

There was a chance that Russia would pick Butaev and crush Donnelly's dreams, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has informed the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) that Donnelly will take his place at the Games in August 2016.

The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Glasgow 2014 was fourth in the WSB's welterweight standings, with only the top two qualifying automatically for Rio.

The All Saints boxer could have finished higher had he not been forced to concede a walkover in one of his bouts in Azerbaijan due to a visa mix-up but because of other results now picks up one of the two qualifying places on offer.

Other Irish boxers, both male and female, in the remaining nine weights will look to book their flights to Brazil next year through the Olympic qualifiers in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Bulgaria.

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