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Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 09:06 UK

Barnes wants gold in London 2012

Barnes (right) with the other Irish medallists Darren Sutherland and Kenny Egan
The Irish trio got a heroes' welcome at Dublin Airport

Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has said that he is aiming to bring home a "better coloured medal" from the 2012 Olympics in London.

Barnes and his team-mates arrived back on Irish soil on Tuesday evening to a heroes' welcome at Dublin airport.

The light-flyweight bronze medallist has already received offers to turn professional since Beijing.

"Hopefully by 2012 it'll be better, I'll be 25 and bring home the gold," said the Belfast man.

Barnes will now hope that the Irish Sporting authorities grant him sufficient funding to enable him to remain amateur.

The Ardoyne fighter and fellow medallists Darren Sutherland and Dubliner Kenny Egan got the largest cheers of the day when they were met by hundreds of chanting supporters at Dublin Airport.

Barnes said he could not wait to get home to celebrate with his parents Paddy senior and Ellen when they arrive home from Beijing later in the week.

The couple were at the ringside at the Workers Arena when the young boxer, from the Holy Family club in Belfast, was beaten 15-0 by the double world champion and home Chinese favourite Zou Shiming.

I regret saying it all except for the what I said about the judges
Paddy Barnes

Immediately after his light-flyweight defeat, a bitterly disappointed Barnes said the bronze medal was for 'losers' and questioned the method of the judging panel.

But he insisted in Dublin that he was later happy with his win.

"Just after the fight I said a lot of things I shouldn't have said, but that was in the heat on the moment," he said.

"I regret saying it all except for the what I said about the judges.

"Even that night after the night and the day after I got beat I started feeling happy."

Barnes said Shiming won the bout fairly, but said not scoring one point was embarrassing.

"I wasn't disgusted at the result, just the score-line," he continued.

see also
Zhang beats Egan to clinch gold
23 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Boxing results
18 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Sutherland adds to Ireland tally
20 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Barnes' Beijing mission
01 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Irish Olympic team is announced
10 Jul 08 |  Olympics
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Boxing jargon guide
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved

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