Gallagher and Ginty reach Youth Olympic semi finals

Michael Gallagher made it two wins from two for Ireland at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China this afternoon.

The Donegal heavyweight beat Maksim Kazlou of Belarus on a unanimous decision.

Gallagher edged the first round on two of the judges cards, but the Finn Valley BC man claimed the second and third frames 10-9 across the board to seal a convincing 30-27,29-28,30-27 verdict.

He’ll now meet Cuba’s current AIBA World Youth champion Yordan Hernandez in the semi-finals on Sunday afternoon. Hernandez beat Gallagher in the quarter-finals en route to gold at the 2014 World Youths.

Earlier today, AIBA World Junior champion Ciara Ginty, the first Irish female boxer to compete in the Youth Olympics, advanced to the last-four.

The Mayo lightweight beat Italy’s Monica Florida to book her ticket into Sunday’s semi-finals.

The final scores were 39-37 (to Ginty) 38-38,38-38 after four, two minute rounds, but when it went back to the judges they unanimously leaned in favour of Ginty, who lost out on a split decision to Floridia at the World Youth Championships in Bulgaria earlier this year.

“Ciara boxed very well. She started well and in my view she won all four rounds. We’re delighted to get off to a winning start,” said Irish team manager Stephen Connolly from ringside in Nanjing.

“Michael said after today’s contest that his opponent was tougher than the Cuban lad that beat him at the World Youth Championships.

“It was a good performance from Michael against an opponent that never stopped coming forward. We have three in semi-final action now tomorrow and fingers crossed we can get to the finals.”

Ciara-Ginty

Ginty, pictured right, will be back between the ropes against Turkey’s World Youth silver medallist Esra Yildiz, who decisioned (3-0) the Ukraine’s Anhelina Bonderenko today, tomorrow morning (Irish time).

The Ginty versus Yildiz semi-final is a repeat of the 2013 AIBA World Junior final which Ginty won on a unanimous decision in Bulgaria. Amy Broadhurst also beat (17-12) the Turk en route to gold at the European Junior Championships in Poland in 2012.

Ginty, Gallagher and Christina Desmond, who received a bye into the semi-finals, will be in last-four action tomorrow.

The losing semi-finalists in Nanjing will box-off for bronze. The losing quarter-finalist will box-off for 5th and 6th position. Six boxers are competing in each of the 13 male and female weight categories at the 2nd edition of the Olympic Youth Games.

Youths Olympics Nanjing, China

August 23rd
Q/Finals
F60kg Ciara Ginty (Ireland) beat Monica Floridia (Italy) 3-0
M91kg Michael Gallagher (Ireland) beat Maksim Kazlou (Belarus) 3-0

August 24th
S/Finals
F60kg Ciara Ginty (Ireland) v Esra Yildiz (Turkey) (7:45am)
F75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Chen Nien Chin (Chinese Taipei) (8am)
M91kg Michael Gallagher (Ireland) v Yordan Hernandez (Cuba) (2:15pm)

(Estimated times (Irish) apply. Nanjing is seven hours ahead of Ireland)

Irish squad

60kg Ciara Ginty (Geesala)
75kg Christina Desmond (Macroom)
91kg Michael Gallagher (Finn Valley)

Team Manager: Stephen Connelly
Coach: Billy McClean

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