Nevin's silver 'dream come true'

Published Sunday, 12 August 2012
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Team Ireland's John Joe Nevin has described achieving his Olympic silver medal as "a dream come true."

Nevin's silver 'dream come true'
Silver medalist John Joe Nevin poses on the podium during the medal ceremony. (© Getty)

The Mullingar man lost the men's bantamweight final 14-11 to Britain's Luke Campbell on Saturday night in front of a sell out crowd at the Excel Arena.

But, despite his disappointment at missing out on a gold medal, he said: "I would have given my right arm for a bronze medal before the Games so this is a dream come true for me.

"My mother has decided where my medal is going to go and it's going to go up in her cupboard."

He also had words of his praise for his final opponent.

"You always want more but Luke is a brilliant boxer and the best man won on the day. I won't argue with the decision - it wasn't meant to be today."

Speaking on the future, he added: "Where ever I go from here I think I'll have a good career, either pro or amateur. And whether pro or amateur I'll always be competing for my country.

"You haven't seen the last of John Joe Nevin. I would love to go pro but it's all about my future and what I will do after boxing as well."

Such was the emotion felt by Campbell at beating the Westmeath man that he burst into tears after raising his hands in victory.

He later spoke of being "overwhelmed" at his win, saying that it was all "a bit of a blur."

The 24-year-old described his thrilling achievement as everything he had ever worked for.

"I've achieved my goal, I'm speechless."

As a young boy, his mother Jill told him to "find a safer sport" after he first picked up the gloves as a 12-year-old.

But she was ringside on Saturday night to see him strike gold for Team GB.

Dad Barney missed the final as he could not travel due to ill health - but got a call from his wife as soon as their son triumphed.

"He said, 'I told you. I told you all, his day would come'," Mrs Campbell added.

"He has always believed in him, straight from the start he always said, 'Luke, one day, will be stood there with a gold medal'."

However, Irish boxing head coach Billy Walsh said Team Ireland had been geared up for another gold on Saturday night.

"It's amazing when you look back on it, but we never really look back. We just try to keep winning - I was very disappointed...I wanted another gold medal.

"John Joe wanted another gold medal and that's what drives this team. "

His team of six won an impressive four medals - one gold, one silver and two bronze.

Walsh admitted that they were under "quite a bit of pressure" going into the 2012 London Games.

"The expectation around the country was crazy, you know. I had to manage that, to deal with that and get them [the team] out of the country and get them focused."

He added that he wanted to keep the team together and get on the road to preparing for Rio de Janeiro in four years' time.

"We want to hold on to our key staff members and keep them secure for the next four years."

Walsh joked that next stop for him is a sunny beach on Wexford with possibly a Cuban cigar - before he thinks of next year's World, and European, Championships.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Pedro Alvarez in Another Planet wrote (899 days ago):
Congratulations to Luke Campbell on a great victory and winning another gold medal for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. London 2012 has been a fantastic success for the UK and a great reflection of all that is good about being British. Hard luck to John Joe Nevin but congratulations on getting to the final and winning silver. Ireland can be justly proud of you and its other boxers, not forgetting Cian O'Connor of course.
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