Taylor rubbishes worries of Olympic doubts as she continues isolated preparation
Ireland coach Billy Walsh insists Katie Taylor's media isolation is nothing unusual.
Ireland’s Katie Taylor has moved to dispel any fears she may be feeling the strain leading into the London Olympics by issuing a statement confirming her training is on track and she is preparing exactly as intended for the moment she has longed for throughout her glittering career.
The four-time world champion, who is the best medal hope among a strong squad of six Ireland boxers heading to London, says she is taking absolutely nothing for granted as she prepares to grasp her Olympic dream.
Taylor missed out on a couple of intended media engagements in the past week, sparking speculation all may not be going to plan for the Dublin girl, but she has moved to quash those rumours – insisting every single training session now takes on added importance. The notoriously driven Taylor refuses to deviate from her schedule this close to the Games.
“My training commitments are more demanding than ever and every session is crucial at this stage of preparation,” Taylor said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“For me it has been a lifelong ambition to represent my country in the Olympic Games, so I want to enjoy the privilege and take it all in. I am aware of the expectation that is on me, but nobody expects more of me than myself.”
Taylor is the heavy favourite at 4/11 to claim the gold medal in the women’s Lightweight division in London, while she is as short as 1/18 to land a medal in August.
Ireland head coach Billy Walsh has confirmed Taylor is following her regular pattern in regards to intense training leading into such a massive tournament. The Irish team depart for their Olympic preparation camp in Italy on Friday and Walsh is not surprised that little has been seen of Taylor in recent times.
“This is the way Katie has managed it for a number of years. She shuts herself away from the pressure and she deals with it pretty well,” Walsh said.
Walsh is firm in his belief that women’s boxing is part of the Games as a direct result of Taylor’s astonishing success and worldwide profile. Whilst others are working tirelessly to find ways to gain the upper hand on Taylor, Walsh believes her best could yet be ahead of her.
“Katie is the flagship of the women’s sport and one of the main reasons it got into the Games. Other countries are chasing her and trying to find ways to beat her,” he added.
“Without improvement they would be catching up on her, but Katie continues to improve. She is only 26 and time is still on her side.”