Irish boxer Walsh a doubt for Olympic semi after injuring ankle celebrating

Aidan Walsh is in a race against time to be fit for his Olympic semi-final boxing match after injuring his ankle while celebrating his previous win.

The Belfast-born fighter has already secured a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after winning his quarterfinal against Mauritian Clair Merven.

The welterweight is due to compete against Team GB's Pat McCormack in the semi-final on Sunday. The two fighters met in the final at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, which was won by the Englishman.

Walsh appeared to be OK in the immediate aftermath of the fight as he walked through the mixed zone, however he later was pushed on a wheelchair out of the Kokugikan arena by his sister Michaela, who was defeated in the round of 16 in the featherweight division on Monday.

The Irish camp are confident that Walsh has enough time to recover from the injury, and the Ireland Olympic Committee released a statement saying that the 24-year-old had suffered a slight sprain but was looking forward to his fight on Sunday.

The extent to which Walsh's ankle recovers will be key to the outcome of the semi-final.

Walsh leans heavily on his quickness of feet which could obviously be hampered if there is not enough time for the injury to fully heal.

McCormack himself has battle wounds to deal with before Sunday, having been struck by some heavy blows in the final round of his bout with Uzbekistani fighter Bobo-Usmon Baturov.

The punches left McCormack with a nasty gash above his eyebrow – something which his Northern Irish opponent could look to exploit.

Walsh's guaranteed bronze medal means that Irish boxers have now won 17 medals at the Olympics.

Ireland currently sit 31st in this year's medal table, with one gold medal and one bronze.

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won the lightweight men's double skulls on Thursday to win Ireland's first ever Olympic gold medal in rowing.

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