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GOING FOR GOLD – Aoife O’Rourke beats Olympic medalist in Strandja semi

Tokyo Olympian and Paris-qualified boxer, 75kg Aoife O’Rourke, has won through to the finals of the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament, after an epic battle on Saturday.

The Roscommon native secured silver at the very least with victory over Qian Li of China and will now go for gold on Sunday’s finals day.

O’Rourke, who has found world-level form over the last number of years and is now a genuine Olympic medal hope, put in a high-tempo, high-power display to defeat the reigning Asian middleweight champion.

The Olympic Galway boxer defeated the Tokyo silver, Rio bronze, and World Championships gold silver and bronze medal winner 28:29; 27:30; 28:29; 28:29; 28:29.

The victory sets up a mouthwatering final with Thailand’s Baison Manikon, the reigning Asian U22 champion.

Jack Marley was also in semi-final action on Saturday but comes home with bronze after suffering defeat to old foe Vagkan Nanitzanian

The figher, who the Monkstown man defeated to secure a spot in Paris, caught the Team Ireland boxer with a left hook just over the ear in the final round. This resulted in the referee ending the bout by KO.


50kg Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s BC, Mayo*

54kg Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin

57kg Michaela Walsh, Holy Family GG, Belfast

66kg Lisa O’Rourke, Castlerea BC, Roscommon

75kg Aoife O’Rourke, Castlerea BC, Roscommon

51kg Rickey Nesbitt, Holy Family BC, Drogheda

57kg Adam Hession, Monivea BC, Galway

63.5kg Dean Clancy, Sean McDermott BC, Leitrim

71kg Eugene McKeever, Holy Family, Drogheda

92kg Jack Marley, Monkstown BC, Dublin

92+kg Martin McDonagh, Crumlin, Dublin.

Draws are available here

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: