Irish Elite Champion John Joe Nevin added an Olympic silver medal to his previous world championship medals and in doing so, the Mullingar man becomes the third bantamweight in Irish boxing history to win an Olympic silver medal.
Speaking this evening Minister Leo Varadkar said: “John Joe had a date with destiny this evening with a mouth-watering duel against Luke Campbell in an Olympic final. I know that Irish people at home and abroad were eagerly anticipating this match, no more so than in his native Mullingar. John Joe achieved so much already, beating the reigning World Champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada en route to this evening. I know he has said his aim was to go in, do his best and to come out smiling but he has surpassed that by bringing home silver for Ireland. I warmly congratulate John Joe. Winning a medal at the Olympics is something athletes dream of and his achievement in bringing home a silver medal this evening, puts him into the record books. He is a wonderful talent and his silver medal is testament to four hard years of preparation for this Olympics."
Minister Michael Ring added: “I heartily congratulate John Joe, his family and friends, coach Brian McKeown and his club, Cavan boxing Club on his achievement this evening. He joins a very elite group this evening and is one of the few Irish people who hold a silver Olympic medal. Our Irish boxers are a real inspiration for other athletes and young people up and down the country who dream of following in John Joe's footsteps. I would also like to express my congratulations to Robert Heffernan who performed outstandingly today in the Mens 50km Walk. He very narrowly missed a medal by just over 30 seconds and in doing so smashed the Irish record – an outstanding performance. As the Olympics draw to a close, I would also like to take the opportunity to wish our other athletes who participate tomorrow, every good wish in their endeavours.“
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office. Caroline Ryan (086)8915570.