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A hard-hitting birthday present for Liam

24 July 2002

Northern Ireland flyweight Liam Cunningham is celebrating his 25th birthday at Manchester 2002 and his biggest wish is a gold medal.

Cunningham said: “My birthday is 2 August so hopefully I can put the champagne on ice and have a double celebration the next day.”

If it's up to Cunningham the silver medal from the last Games in Kuala Lumpur, four years ago, will soon be replaced with one of gold.

“I can only go one better than four years ago and I will be disappointed if I don’t come home with gold,” he said.

He believes he is in the best condition of his amateur career after returning from a training trip to Cuba with the rest of the Northern Ireland team earlier this month.

“The trip to Cuba has improved our team a lot. They have the best amateurs in the world and for me there was no one better to train with for these Games."

"It was hard at first but in the end, we were giving as good as we were getting – if not more," Cunningham said.

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