Published: Thursday, 26th July, 2012 11:13am
John Joe Nevin (left) and Joseph Murphy.
Double Olympian John Joe Nevin and Westmeath's newest Olympian Joseph Murphy are in London with week with the other athletes preparing for one of the biggest challenges any sportsperson can face.
Rated as one of Ireland's best hopes for a medal, John Joe has won bronze medals at the last two World Amateur Boxing Championships and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He is the only Irish male boxer to win medals at two world championships, and was in Italy with the rest of the boxing team for a pre-Olympics camp before departing for London on July 24.
He says he is fighting fit heading into what will be the most important few weeks of his young life.
"I feel in very good shape," John Joe has told the Westmeath Examiner. "I have had no complaint from the condition (he broke his cheekbone earlier this year) and have all the work done. I'm ranked number four and if the competition is seeded, I should get straight into the last 16.
"I know that I am one of the best boxers in the world. I still have to show that, and hopefully if I do that, it will be enough," he said.
Westmeath's latest Olympian, Joe Murphy from Killare, says he and the other members of the Irish three-day eventing team would welcome a bit of London rain.
Joe is on the five-person eventing team that will represent Ireland in the Olympics, having made his international debut at last September's European Championship.
The Down-based trainer and breeder is focused on what will be the biggest competition in his eventing career.
"If everyone performs then the team has a fantastic chance to creep into the medals. It can all go right or wrong very easily," said Joe.
Although many of the other eventing teams and the organisers might not agree, Joe, who is looking forward to meeting Westmeath's other Olympian John Joe Nevin in London, hopes the thousands of Irish fans expected to attend the Olympics bring the weather with them.
"We are well used to competing in tough conditions and it could definitely be an advantage to us. That part really wouldn't worry us," he said.