Loudest cheer of Olympics so far created by Irish female boxer
Four-time world champion Katie Taylor's wait to box at an Olympic Games ended on Monday when she progressed to the semi-finals in style, guaranteeing Ireland a medal in front of boisterous fans who raised the loudest roars of the Games.
Taylor, a sporting hero in her country who was at the forefront of the campaign to get women's boxing into the Olympics, was at her clinical best, demolishing world championship bronze medallist Natasha Jonas of Britain 26-15.
While British fighters have boxed in front of partisan crowds every day so far, Jonas' supporters were outnumbered and outsung by the rambunctious Irish, dressed in green jerseys and sporting the national tricolour flag.
An Olympic official said the decibel level during the Taylor fight hit 113.7, the highest at the Games so far - surpassing the cycling finals at the velodrome and not far behind the 140 decibel roar of a jet engine.
"I've never experienced an atmosphere like this before. I knew it was going to be great but it took me by surprise a small bit. It's a privilege to box for them, as well as my country," Taylor told reporters.
Katie Taylor has won Gold! LOL! The excitement here is mighty.
She is now Ireland's top superstar! They are planning to name streets bridges and God only knows what after her in her native town, when she comes home!
Katie and her family are deeply religious, Pentecostal, I think. IMO, that is how she managed to keep her nerve and not panic right up to the end, because she was putting her trust firmly in "the Man above".
Thousands of fans erupted with joy in the seaside town of Bray as their local hero Katie Taylor was crowned boxing lightweight champion in London's ExCel Centre, bringing home Ireland's first Olympic gold medal for 16 years.
"I'm thrilled. It's the best thing that's ever happened here," said Martin Tuyley, 43-year-old chef, as confetti was blasted into the sky.
"They'll be on the streets singing tonight."
It's extraordinary how Katie has captured everybody's heart. I think part of it is she is so humble and self-effacing in her personality. She is a girl who rose from nowhere to achieve her dream.