"Heartbroken" Emmet Brennan has nothing to be ashamed of after Olympics exit
After battling injury for the guts of six months, it was not to be.
Emmet Brennan was always going to be up against it in his Round of 32 bout against Dilshod Ruzmetov.
The boxer from Uzbekistan was one of the top-rated medal prospect in the 81-kg men's division, at these Olympics, and he certainly matched the hype in the first round.
Brennan, who made the games only to then contend with injury issues, came back strong in the second round but Ruzmetov upped his game and closed it out in the third round to advance.
Following his elimination, a distraught Brennan battled through his post-fight interview with RTÉ.
"It’s tough," he reflected. "Obviously I knew he was good but I have the belief I’ll beat anyone. I knew it was going to be a tough task but I did think I was going to win. He was very, very sharp, a very, very good counter-boxer."
When Des Cahill remarked that Brennan had probably put in more work than anyone else in Team Ireland just to make the Olympics, that brought out the tears.
"Without my family, I wouldn't be here. It’s gutting. Gutting.
"I know I didn’t let them down, but you want to win here."
Brennan said he had taken out a Credit Union loan and worked part-time, as well as training full-time, to make the games. The Dubliner confirmed his injury agonies and declared, "Biggest fight of your life and your body let's you down. It's tough."
"It's heartbreaking." An emotional Emmet Brennan speaks openly after his narrow defeat to Dilshod Ruzmetov in the men's 81kg light-heavyweight division.#Tokyo2020 #RTESport #Olympics
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Brennan said he had shoulder, elbow and ribs were all causing him bother and a blow to the ribs at the end of the first round left him winded.
He asked to thank all those that had supported him on his journey, so far, before the interview wrapped. "I never thought I'd get this far," he concluded, "It's heartbreaking."
Given what Brennan put himself through to get to the games, and how he battled with a failing body to test a genuine medal prospect, he has nothing to be ashamed of.