SCOTLAND’S Reese Lynch is hopeful he will get a crack at the third and final Olympic qualifier after being ruled out of his next opportunity for Paris 2024 due to injury.
Last week GB Boxing announced a 10-strong squad that will travel to Italy in March for the second Olympic qualifier, where 59 places for this summer’s Games will be up for grabs.
However, the 2022 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist was not included in that list as he recovers from a long-term injury that has ruled him out of the ring since the first Olympic qualifier at the European Games in Poland last June.
England’s Patris Mughalzai, who won Gold at the World Boxing Cup: GB Open in Sheffield by defeating 2022 Commonwealth Games participant Joe Tyers earlier this month, will compete for the chance to secure the GB 63.5kg Light-Welterweight Olympic position instead.
“I’ve had two broken ribs on my back,” Reese explained.
“The first and second rib were both broken, around about my shoulder blades.
“They thought it was back pains and I was training with it for ages, but it was stress fractures.
“I went to the European Games and I was sore in the same place, so I think I had a stress fracture at the European Games.
“I was doing rehab for it as if it was muscle.
“After the European Games I had a month off and I went on holiday, and I was waking up and was sore.
“Then when I came home and was trying to get back into to training I actually felt it pop.
“My other side also had a slight fracture and about five weeks after that I was helping my mum bring some stuff in from the car and hurt my other rib as well.
“I have been cleared to do shadow boxing now, but I am still on the mend and don’t want to rush it.”
Scotland’s only senior World Championship medallist (Bronze, 2021) is aiming to become just the second Scottish boxer to qualify for an Olympics in 30 years, after Josh Taylor at London 2012.
The Rob Roy boxer now has hopes pinned on the third and final Olympic qualifier, which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand from May 26th to June 2nd.
Fellow Scot Sam Hickey also misses out on the second Olympic qualifier in Italy with Welsh boxer Taylor Bevan given a second opportunity to qualify at Light-Heavyweight (80kg).
There are still plenty of places available on Team GB as only three British boxers were able to secure their berth for Paris at the first Olympic qualifier last summer, Charley Davison (women’s 54kg), Rosie Eccles (women’s 66kg) and Delicious Orie (men’s 92kg+).
The competition in Krakow proved to be a frustrating experience for Lynch as, after defeating Latvia’s Marcis Grundulis in the Round of 32, he was controversially deducted two points against Bulgaria’s Radoslav Rosenov as he exited in the Round of 16.
“Yeah it was frustrating, I felt like I wasn’t boxing myself,” Reese added of his experience at the opening Olympic qualifier.
“I beat the Latvian alright, but I had the back pain so I wasn’t really throwing my backhand the way I usually do.
“Some of the shots I throw usually – like slipping off the line with my backhand and getting my head off the line – was hurting.
“So I was just pawing it out.
“If it was another competition I probably would have pulled out.
“It was a disappointing performance and disappointing refereeing as well, as I got a point deducted within about 50 seconds.
“But I know that I can go and qualify, I am confident in myself that I can qualify.
“It would be good to have another achievement and tick another one off the list.
“I’ve made history twice, one as a team at the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships as well, so it would be good to keep adding to that.”