Road to Rio 2016: Olympics draw closer for athletes

BBC Sport NI's Nigel Ringland catches up with the Ireland's men's hockey team, boxer Katie Taylor and triathlete Aileen Reid as the countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio reaches nine months.

The Ireland hockey squad savoured qualification for the Games at the BBC Sport office in Belfast as their place was secured thanks to Australia's 3-2 victory over New Zealand in the Oceania Cup final.

Their historic achievement means they will become the first Irish team from any sport to compete at an Olympics since the 1948 Games in London.

Meanwhile there was more positive news in boxing as Belfast's Michael Conlan became the first Irish male boxer to win a gold medal at a World Amateur Championships with victory in Doha.

Soon after, Irish boxing was forced to come to terms with the news that High Performance Head Coach Billy Walsh was to leave his post to take up a position with women's boxing in the United States of America.

Katie Taylor gives her reaction to the news which stunned the sport in Ireland, while Aileen Reid targets a possible medal in Brazil next August.

  • Subsection
  • Published