Boxing: Eight medals for returning Irish heroes
TEAM IRELAND’S young male and female boxers showcased their talent to claim eight medals, one gold, two silver and five bronze at last week’s AIBA World Youth and Junior Women’s Championships in Taiwan and the European Junior Men’s Championship in the Ukraine.
Newly crowned European Junior gold medalist Jason Harty, silver medalists Jim O’Reilly and Niamh Earley and bronze medalists Natasha Logan, Lorcan Hurley, Kelsey Leonard, Anthony Johnston and Joanne Richards all left their mark, on the European and world stage.
Harty beat Poland’s Eryk Apresyan on a unaminous decision. The Rathkeale BC athlete, a silver medalist at the 2013 European Schoolboy Championships, earned his gold the hard way in a tough, technical encounter against his opponent.
“It was a brilliant and very techinal performance from Jason” said Irish team manager Stephen Connolly.
O’Reilly was seeking to become the second boxer from Portlaoise BC to win European Junior gold on the back of Micheal Nevin’s success in 2014. In a close fight, O’Reilly’s opponent local favourite Arkadii Kartsan just did enough to deny O’Reilly in the light heavy 80kg decider.
Kildare trio of Earley, Logan and Leonard accounted for three of the four Irish women’s medals. Wexford’s Joanne Richards won Ireland’s third bronze medal. “It was an amazing experience, wouldn’t change it for the world. It was a brilliant team of boxers, delighted for what I did and I hope I did the country proud,” said the new World Junior silver medalist Earley.
Earley faced India’s Sandhu Mandeep in last Saturday’s three-round 52kg final. The Ryston BC dynamo kept a high tempo throughout the bout but Mandeep, a counter puncher, won out on 2-1 verdict.
Logan, Herald Star of the Week last year, bowed out against Kazakhstan’s Muzdman Balaussa in the Youth 54kg semi-final.