IN April, Strabane’s Ben McGarrigle will become only the third former Commonwealth Games boxing competitor to return to the event as an official, but first the busy referee and judge has the World Elite Championships to deal with.
The 19th edition of the World Championships begins in Hamburg on August 25 but McGarrigle will be in Germany from Tuesday for a three day preparation seminar before the action begins. AIBA have selected 36 referees and judges from throughout the world to officiate at the flagship event of international boxing and McGarrigle, a 3-Star AIBA R&J from the Mourne Golden Gloves in Strabane, is thrilled to get the call for the biggest tournament since Rio 2016.
“I’m absolutely delighted to go to that level and it’s brilliant for Irish boxing,” he beamed. The appointments are just getting bigger, bigger and bigger, but with appointments like these comes confidence.
There are 36 judges selected for the World Championships and I’m delighted to be one of them.”
It’s the latest of many prestigious appointment’s for McGarrigle, who has to balance working for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service with his refereeing.
Over the last two years, he has officiated all over the world, including in Azerbaijan, Papa New Guinea at the Pacific Games, in Finland, at the European Youth Championships, World Youth Championships, in St Petersburg, Russia, and at the American Continental Championships in Honduras.
At each of those events he is evaluated on his performances and it would appear he has done well as he continues to get selected for the best events on the calendar.
“It’s a good run for me at the minute, but I’m delighted and excited,” he said. “I’m busy and it’s hard to juggle things. It’s a very high level and you have to get it right, everyone has to get it right.
“I just think it’s great for Irish boxing and as an individual to get an email to be selected for the World Elite Championships, which is second only to the Olympic Games, I love it!
“I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t performed at the last couple of appointments because your are evaluated in every contest and they wouldn’t be afraid to stand you down.”
Over the nine days of competition in Germany, 280 boxers will compete, including 18 medalists from the Rio Olympics, so the schedule will be packed.
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