Feature | Jul 31 2014

Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan lead Northern Ireland’s charge through the Commonwealth Games

But qualification standards for this tournament do need to be addressed, writes John Dennen
Michael Conlan-Shiva Thapa

OLYMPIC medallists Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan were expected to reach the later stages of the Commonwealth Games and they are now assured of a podium finish. But the rest of the Northern Ireland team has followed their lead magnificently, guaranteeing themselves an astonishing nine medals out 11 athletes. That’s a lot of medals. England for example have got seven, in itself a pretty healthy return. The semi-finals tomorrow (August 1) and finals on Friday (August 2) will determine whether those medals become gold, silver or bronze (the losers of the semi-finals all get bronze medals).

Barnes said, “I think it’s because we have so much self-belief. We fear nobody.”

He continued, “Everyone’s going to win gold. I’m not being arrogant. Everyone’s going to win gold.”