Paddy Barnes will receive a heroes reception in his native Belfast tomorrow evening after winning a bronze medal at the 29th Olympiad in Beijing.
The Holy Family Belfast light flyweight will be part of the Irish Olympic squad that arrives home from China via Dublin Airport at around 5 10pm today(Aug 26).
Barnes, the fifth boxer from the Holy Family to compete at the Olympics, will arrive at his club at 7pm on Wednesday for an open top bus cavalcade to his home on the Cliftonville Road, where a reception will be held in his honour, hosted by the Lord Mayor and many dignitaries from the world of sport.
The 21 year old won two bouts in Beijing, seeing off the challenge of Jose Luis Meza of Ecuador (14-8) before outclassing Poland’s Lukasaz Maszczyk 11-5 en route to the semi finals to guarantee himself at least bronze.
The Holy Family man was beaten in the last four - but it took a two times World champion and eventual Olympic champion, Shiming Zou of China - boxing in his own backyard in front of over 12,000 of his own vociferous fans - to put a stop to the Ulster dynamos ambitions.
Irish head coach Billy Walsh said: "Paddy has been incredible at these Olympics. Every time he gets into a ring he leaves absolutely nothing behind him, he gives it everything he has in there and he is a credit to Irish sport.His performances gave us all a tremendous boost in Beijing."