By Michael O’Neill
Katelynn Phelan and Saoirse Dignam ensured Ireland will take home at least two bronze medals as the second day of the European Youth and Junior championships drew to a close at the Sporthall / School of Csokonai in Keszthely,Hungary on Monday.
Phelan, from the St Brigid’s club in Kildare Town taking part in the 63kg Junior quarter-final had a convincing 3:0 win over the Norwegian titleholder Iria Hjvllcik
Her club’s immediate response via Facebook said all that needed to be said of this fine victory : “What a fantastic performance from Katelynn Phelan who just won her fight against Norway on a unanimous decision and the first boxer to secure a bronze medal for Ireland. What an experience and a great achievement from this 15 year old girl…So proud of her.”
Saoirse Dignam later overcame the challenge of the Ukrainian favourite Yulia Stojko, who claimed bronze at the World Youth Championships earlier this year. That 69kg Youth bout ended in a draw but went back to the judges who judged the Wexford girl to be the winner. It was a great fight and another win for a Wexford boxer after the recent successes of such as Dean Walsh, Adam Nolan and earlier Joanne Richards. Dignam boxes out of the Sacre Coeur club in Pearse Road, Enniscorthy and will now, like Phelan hope to progress further during the week.
There were narrow defeats in Keszthely this afternoon for Ryston’s Lauryn Sinclair (who lost 2:0 to Great Britain’s Georgia ‘All Out’ O’Connor from the Brandon club in Durham at 70kg) and at 54kg Carndonagh’s Labhaoise Clarke was defeated by top Belarus boxer Ulabzsislave Kalaskova but the Donegal girl put up great resistance and was unlucky to lose a split decision ( 2:1).
“Saoirse was involved in a classic with the Ukrainian girl. She never left her settle for the entire three rounds, absolutely cracking bout, said Irish coach Liam Brereton.
“Katelynn boxed superbly for the three rounds in her win. Labhaoise and Lauryn were unlucky not to get the decision. I thought they both did enough to win.”
Irish women’s boxing is proudly sponsored by QuickPark of Dublin Airport.
European Women’s Youth and Junior Championships:
69kg Saoirse Dignam (Ireland) beat Yulia Stojko (Ukraine) 2-1
54kg Labhaoise Clarke (Ireland) lost to Ulabzsislave Kalaskova (Belarus) 1-2
63kg Katelyn Phelan (Ireland) beat Iria Hjvllcik (Norway) 3-0
70kg Lauryn Sinclair (Ireland) lost to Georgia O’Connor (England) 0-2
A reminder of the Irish squad in Keszthely:
48kg Shannon Sweeney (St Anne’s)
51kg Caitlin Sweeney (St Brigid’s, Edenderry)
54kg Saidbh Greene (St Brigid’s, Edenderry)
57kg Shannon Edge (St Brigid’s, Edenderry)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
64kg Chloe Gray (Bracken)
69kg Saoirse Dignam (Sacre Coeur) (Bronze, at least)
75kg Aoife Burke (St Marys)
46kg Chloe Callander (Ryston)
48kg Caitlin Fryers (Immaculata)
50kg Kelsey Leonard (Curragh)
52kg Niamh Earley (Ryston)
54kg Labhaoise Clarke (Carndonagh)
57kg Orla Garvey (Dealgan)
60kg Shauna O’Callaghan (Clann Naofa)
63kg Katelynn Phelan (St Brigid’s, Kildare) (Bronze, at least)
66kg Lauren Kelly (St Brigid’s, Edenderry)
70kg Lauryn Sinclair (Ryston)
Team Manager: Maura Campbell (South Meath)