Five Irish boxers fight for European Games medals today

If things go to plan Ireland could have no fewer than 7 European Games medal winners before the day is out.

Five Irish fighters go into battle in Minsk today looking to join light flyweight Regan Buckley and middleweight Michael Nevin on the winner’s podium.

If all five are to win today that would mean over 60 percent of a team without representation in the flyweight and light heavyweight categories due to Brendan Irvine’s injury and Joe Ward’s move to the pro ranks would have earned a medal.

If three progress it would still be an improvement on the last European Games were the country had four medalists from a much more experienced team. Katie Taylor, lightweight, and Michael O’Reilly, middleweight, won double gold at Baku 2015 and Brendan Irvine and Sean McComb took home silver and bronze respectively.

Kelly Harrington, Kurt Walker, Michaela Walsh, Grainne Walsh and O’Rourke will be aiming to secure a medal today.

Current European Union featherweight champion Michaela Walsh gets Wednesday’s quarter-finals underway versus Germany’s first female boxing World champion Ornella Wahner at 12pm (Irish time).

Ireland’s World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington meets Italy’s Irma Testa at 5pm.

Harrington and Wahner were the only two Europeans to win gold at the World Elites in New Delhi last year.

Kurt Walker, the No. 4 seed in Minsk, meets French bantam Samuel Kistohurry in the last eight in a repeat of the 2012 World Youth clash in Armenia which Walker won on his way to bronze.

Grainne Walsh faces Finish opposition in Elina Gustafsson, the reigning European champion, while Lauren Price of Team GB is the opponent for Aoife O’Rourke. 

Q/Finals

56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Samuel Kistohurry (France) (1.45pm)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Ornella Wahner (Germany) (12 pm)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Irma Testa (Italy) (5pm)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Elina Gustafsson (Finland) (12.45pm)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Lauren Price (Team GB) (5.45pm)

 

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshb[email protected]