World Championship injury heartbreak for Grace

A deep cut over her left eye forced DCU student Claire Grace to withdraw from the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Jeju, South Korea.

Grace, who received the cut during her first round win over Romania’s Christine Stancu, was treated in hospital and required stitches.

Management for the Kilkenny native gave a number of reasons for withdrawing from the competition.

Grace may have had to compete in a number of successive bouts over the course of the week, increasing the risk of further damage to the cut.

At only 20-years-old, the team decided that it was unsafe to carry on and aggravate an injury that may affect her in future tournaments.

“It’s devastating to have won but now I can’t continue and deep down it is hard to take,” said the third year Health and Sports Science student, “If it was my own choice to make I would have gone on with it.

“It’s very upsetting. I was delighted when I got the win and I had hopes of going through the week.”

Grace herself felt the seriousness of the cut after the match and defended her team’s decision to pull out of the championships.

“I knew straight away it was a deep cut. But it’s so early in the tournament that it might reopen and get worse. The coaches agreed that long term it was not worth taking the risk.”

“Whatever about passing the medical today, I was never going to pass another one if I went in to fight.

“I don’t know how many stitches they put in but I know it feels worse this morning than it was yesterday.”

Grace would have met Gulzar Kara in the next round, an opponent which she had already beaten.

Bantamweight Michaela Walsh also bowed out of the tournament after she was beaten on a split decision by Anna Alimardanova of Azerbaijan.

Cian Roche

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