Kilkenny welterweight Clare Grace guaranteed Ireland at least a bronze medal from the 9th European Youths Championships in Bucharest, Romania today.
The Callan BC ace convincingly beat Turkey’s Kara Guluzar on a majority decision to march into the last-four.
Today’s win exacted a measure of revenge for the 20-year-old Irish champion who was edged out 5-3 under the old computer scoring system by the Turk in the semi-finals of the European Youth Championships in France in 2010.
Grace will now meet England’s Stacey Copeland – who beat Russia’s Irina Poteyeva today – in the last-four on Friday.
“Clare was outstanding. She was on top of her game and breezed through the rounds. She never gave her opponent an inch,” said Irish team manager Fiona Hennigan.
Grace will pick up at least 450 AIBA rankings points by virtue of reaching the semi-finals and will make her first appearance in the AIBA World rankings when they are updated to reflect performances in Bucharest.
She also joins the “Irish European Championships Medal Winning Club.” Some of the more recent European medal winners include Andy Lee, Ken Egan, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Joe Ward, John Joe Nevin, Jason Quigley – and five-time European champion Katie Taylor.
Grace was the the only Irish boxers in action today. Ceire Smith, Michaela Walsh, who celebrates her 21st birthday on Thursday, and Joanna Lambe will be between the ropes tomorrow.
Today’s win improves Ireland to 3 and 0 in Bucharest.
Irish women’s boxing is proudly sponsored by Quick Park of Dublin Airport.
Please see below attachments for Irish draws.
European Women’s Championships Bucharest, Romania.
June 1st (Last 32 and last 16)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Helina Bruyevigh (Belarus) (last 32) 3-0
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Sandra Brugger (Switzerland) (last 16) 3-0
2nd June Last 8 (1/4 final)
69kg Clare Grace (Ireland) beat Kara Guluzar (Turkey) 2-0
3rd June (Last 16)
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Nur Caskun (Turkey)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Ivanna Krupena (Ukraine)
57kg Joanne Lambe (Ireland) v Marija Petric (Croatia)
June 4th (Q/Final
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Mera Lavinia (Romania)
June 6th (S/Final)
69kg Clare Grace (Ireland) v Stacey Copeland (England)
51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)
54kg Michaela Walsh (Holy Family GG)
57kg Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
69kg Claire Grace (Callan)
Team manager: Fiona Hennigan
Coaches: Pete Taylor, Zuar Antia, Gerry Storey