Commonwealth Games 2022

Michaela Walsh invested 19 years of work to take her first Commonwealth Games gold after two silvers

August 9th, 2022 / Commonwealth Games 2022

Northern Ireland topped the medal standings and the team rankings at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Their boxers earned five gold medals and among them, two siblings, Michaela and Aidan Walsh achieved two titles at the event. Michaela Walsh delivered one of the top stories with her gold medal following her two silvers from the recent two editions of the Commonwealth Games.

Michaela Walsh was born in a real boxing family in Belfast on June 5, 1993. She began training at the age of 10, earlier than many of her teammates. Her father Damien was a boxer in the past and managed her daughter’s career in the famous Monkstown Boxing Club in Belfast.

Walsh was only 15 when she received the right to represent Team Ireland internationally for the very first time, she competed at the 1st edition of the European Women’s Junior Boxing Championships in Yambol, Bulgaria, and claimed a silver medal. She participated in another historic event, at the first AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in Antalya, Turkey in May 2011, and claimed a bronze medal there.

Walsh earned her first gold medal at the Irish Elite National Championships in 2011 at the age of 18 and competed at the EUBC European Women’s Elite Boxing Championships the same year. Following four elite national titles, she was only 21 by the time of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games but she advanced to the final after beating three opponents. Walsh was stopped only in the final by England’s legendary woman boxer, Nicola Adams and took the silver medal from Scotland.

She won the EUBC European Union Championships in 2017 and was named one of the favorites at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Walsh advanced to the final of the Games once again after Glasgow but this time in the featherweight. The Northern Irish girl had a tough and tight final against Australia’s Skye Nicolson in Gold Coast where three of the judges favored the local girl and Walsh won a silver medal for the second time.

Walsh earned a bronze medal at the 2018 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships, a silver at the Minsk 2019 European Games and won several international tournaments in the previous years but these were mostly preparations for the Birmingham 2022.

She had to wait for six competition days to start her campaign at the Commonwealth Games. Walsh defeated Botswana’s Keamogetse Sadie Kenosi as a start in 2018 and she repeated that in Birmingham as well earning a guaranteed medal.

Walsh had another promising opponent in the semi-finals, South Africa’s Phiwokuhle Sibusisiwe Mnguni but the Northern Irish girl was too smart in their bout. Michaela advanced to the final of the Commonwealth Games for the third time during her career and after two silver medals, she upgraded her level to gold after beating Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba.

Her younger brother, Aidan was also a silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia and won the title in Birmingham. The Walsh family amazed the local crowd at the 22nd Commonwealth Games and after several silver medals, both are on the top of the podium.