Semi-final heartbreak for Irish trio

13 November 2008 – by Mark Doyle

Irelands interest in the European Elite Championships is over after the nations three remaining fighters in Liverpool all bowed out at the semi-final stages on Thursday evening.

Olympian John Joe Joyce was defeated by long-time rival Gyula Kate, with the Hungarian gaining revenge for his defeat by the Athy light-welterweight in the summer Games with a commanding 8-2 victory.

“I had to change my tactics after Beijing,” Kate explained. “In Beijing I boxed too straight so I suffered from his counter punches and lost 9-5.

Wicklow lightweight Ross Hickey was beaten 9-3 by Vazgen Safaryants of Belarus, while Belfast middleweight Eamon OKane was routed 10-2 by Russias Maxim Koptyakou.

However, while there will undoubtedly be disappointment in the Irish camp, three bronze medals is yet another fantastic result for the country.

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