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Ahmet Comert Cup
By Bernard O'Neill
June 14, 2008

(JUNE 14) Katie Taylor and Darren O'Neill completed a remarkable double for Ireland this afternoon after both boxers won gold medals at the Ahmet Comert Cup senior international Multi Nations tournament at the Ahmet Sports Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.

Twenty one year old Taylor, from the Bray Boxing Club, finished on top of the podium after England's Amanda Coulson withdrew from the 63Kg final after picking up a hand injury in her semi final win on Friday.

Taylor, the reigning World and European lightweight champion, stopped Coulson, from Hartlepool in England, on the 15 point rule in round two in an international meeting in Dungarvan, Waterford in March 2007.

Darren O'Neill, of the Paulstown club in Kilkenny, meantime, beat Iran's Suair Mahdi 14-1 in the 81kg decider to continue his remarkable run of having won a medal in every international tournament he has entered over the last three years.

O'Neill, 22, a school teacher and ex Kilkenny U/21 hurler, beat another Iranian to reach the final just twenty four hours after having his hand raised in victory at the expense of Yerkbulan Sinaliev from Kazakhstan in the quarter finals.

Taylor beat reigning European light welterweight champion Lucie Bertaud from France, Swedish World and European
silver medallist Klara Svensson, and Chinese southpaw Niyxur Ting, en route to gold.

Today's brace was all the more remarkable as Taylor has moved up from lightweight to light welterweight, and O'Neill,
who usually boxes at middleweight, won his gold in the light heavyweight category.

Commentating on this afternoons double gold, the President of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, Dominic O'Rourke, was full of praise for both boxers.

He said: "Katie and Darren have shown remarkable consistency in international competition over the last number of years and it is a fantastic achievement to win two gold medals at one of the most competitive Multi Nation tournaments in the world.

"The entire Irish squad and staff deserve enormous credit for their performances in Turkey this week and they have done Irish amateur boxing proud."

*Turkish featherweight Aydin Bunyamin, who edged out Irelands Carl Frampton in the quarter finals, won gold in today's finals.*

Ahmet Comert Cup Results Istanbul Turkey

June 14th Finals Results
Women's: 63Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Amanda Coulson (England) W/O
Men's: 81Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) beat Suair Mahdi (Iran) 14-1

June 13th Women's Semi Final Result
63Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Niyxur Ting (China) 8-0

June 13th Men's Semi Final Result
81Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) beat Tuare Bahzani (Iran) RET4

June 12th Women's Quarter Final Result
63Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Klara Svenson (Sweden) 24-3

June 12th Men's Quarter Final Results
54Kg: Ryan Lindberg (Ireland) lost to Lipon Abuta (Kazakhstan) 4-17
57Kg: Carl Frampton (Ireland) lost to Aydin Bunyamin (Turkey) 8-11
81Kg: Darren O'Neill (Ireland) beat Yerkbulan Sinaliev (Kazakhstan) 16-12

June 10th Men's & Women's Results
63Kg: Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Lucie Bertaud (France) RSCO2
69kg: Anthony Cacace (Ireland) lost to Ervel Kesen (Turkey) 9-10

Irish squad by club and management

63Kg: Katie Taylor (Bray BC)
54Kg: Ryan Lindberg (Immaculata, Belfast)
57Kg: Carl Frampton (Midland White City, Belfast)
60Kg: Anthony Cacace (Holy Trinity, Belfast)
81Kg: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown, Kilkenny)

Team Leader: Billy McKee (Midland White City)
Coaches: Peter Taylor (Bray) Pat Ryan (Portlaoise) James Halpin (St Saviours OBA Dublin)
R&J: Larry Durand (Saviours/Crystal Waterford)
Physiotherapist: Conor McCarthy.

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