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Sunday 4 December 2016

Baku 2015: McComb keeps boxers on top

Ireland's Mullen an impressive 8th in cycling time trial at Baku

Sean McComb, Ireland, following his Men's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 32 bout with Tymur Beliak, Ukraine. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan
Sean McComb, Ireland, following his Men's Boxing Light 60kg Round of 32 bout with Tymur Beliak, Ukraine. 2015 European Games, Crystal Hall, Baku, Azerbaijan

Ireland's Seán McComb kept up the boxing team's impressive record at the European Games in Baku's Crystal Hall in yesterday.

The Belfast man beat Ukrainian Tymur Beliak in their lightweight clash by a unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27, 29-28. The two time National Champion advances to the last 16, where he faces italian Donato Cosenza.

It was a disappointing day for wrestler Alexander Dolly who lost his qualifcation match in the 86kg Freestyle division to Spain's Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva. In Taekwondo, Chloe Aboud lost her Preliminary Round match to Sweden's Elin Johansson in the -67kg category.

In cycling, Irish national champion Ryan Mullen put in a very decent ride to finish 8th out of 40 in a field that contained some top quality racers.

Belarusian Vasil Kiryienk, who is a rider for Team Sky and recently took the tough time trial stage in the Giro d'Italia, was victorious.

He was the only rider to go under the hour for the 51.6km test, in a time of 59:36 and average speed of 51.94kph.

Holland's Stem Clement, who normally rides for IAM Cycling, took silver some 1:10 off the flying winner. Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez, who rides for Astana, took the bronze medal and was 1:46 adrift of the winner.

Mullen's average speed of 49.7kph saw him concede 2:41 to Kiryienk.

And while the Irishman took silver in the U23 TT and the World Road Championships last year and 7th in the Tour of Britain TT last September, today's result is arguably the best of his career.

He had come into these Games in excellent shape, taking 3rd overall in the recent An Post Rás and winning the U23 classification there.

He will be joined by his An Post-Chainreaction team mates Sean Downey, Conor Dunne and Jack Wilson for Sunday's road race in Baku, along with Eddie Dunbar of NFTO Cycling.

Caroline Ryan was 15th in the 30-rider field today. The title was won by Holland's Ellen Van Dijk who clocked 32:26, or 47.72kph over the 25.8km course.

"It is the first European Games and that is quite special. This was a race I have been preparing for, for weeks," 28-year-old van Dijk told reporters at Bilgah Beach.

"I have been training at high altitude. I wanted to be very strong in this period and that worked out great.

In the men's Individual All-Around gymnastic event Kieran Behan finished in 17th place with a combined score of 81.198.

Behan navigated his six events with just one penalty, coming in the parallel bars, but was unable to make any dent on the top ten.

baku 2015

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