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GOLD MEDAL ALERT – Cliona D’Arcy outfoxes giant Ukrainian to win GOLD

It was a case of guts, guile, glory, and well deserved gold for Cliona D’Arcy in Sofia today.

The Tobar Pheadair talent claimed victory in the European Youth Championship heavyweight final to ensure she will return home with glistening gold.

D’Arcy faced a tough task up against Polina Cherenko of Ukraine, a fighter who had 20kgs on her and had proved her continental credentials when winning European Junior gold last year – but the Irish heavyweight executed a well-thought-out game plan to perfection and won the bout quite comfortably.

In the third Ireland Ukraine meeting of the day, D’Arcy boxed and moved throughout and won all three rounds on three of the judge’s scorecards, with one giving it to the Ukrainian and the other scoring 29-28 in the Irish fighter’s favour.

The victory was Ireland’s third on finals day and their last of a very successful tournament. D’Arcy’s first European medal improves the Team Ireland tally to three golds, two silver and four bronze.

Amidst a passionate battle for fan supremacy, D’Arcy was cool against her much bigger opponent. The Irish heavyweight employed movement in her bid to steal ahead. She was on her toes and picking her moments to attack. The tactic proved fruitful as she landed the cleaner punches throughout and took the round on four of the five judges’ scorecards.

Cherenko tried to bully her way back into contention in the second and came forward throwing straight shots. It led to more blue corner success but D’Arcy was scoring too, check hooking her foe on more than one occasion. As the round wore on the Irish heavy looked the fitter and was walking her opponent on some big right hands. As a result, D’Arcy was two rounds up on three of the judge’s scorecards going into the last and only had to survive to win gold.

By this stage, the Ukrainian support had given up and the Irish had the run of venue. The same couldn’t be said of Cherenko she wasn’t going to let the Galway fighter stroll to gold but she couldn’t do much to prevent her from stepping onto the top spot of the heavyweight podium.

D’Arcy danced and picked off the Ukrainian throughout the final three minutes leaving the result in no doubt and closing the show in style.

Team Ireland Squad:
48kg: Georgia McGovern, Setanta : Bronze Medallist              

48kg: Patsy Joyce, Olympic: Bronze Medallist                          

50kg: Katie O’Keefe, Kanturk : Bronze Medallist                  

51kg: Adam McKenna, Holy Family          

52kg: Esther Lambe, Setanta

54kg: Shakira Donoghue, Templemore 

54kg: Gavin Ryan, Ratoath                        

57kg: Yasmin Meredith, Corinthians: Team Captain        

57kg: John Donoghue, St Michaels Athy

60kg: Jason Nevin, Olympic

63kg: Winnie McDonagh, Neilstown : Bronze Medallist               

63.5kg: Tom McDonnell, Docklands                             

66kg: Gabrielle Mongan, Whitechurch          

67kg: Jim Donovan, Our Lady of Lourdes

70kg: Laura Moran, St Annes: Silver Medallist  

71kg: Bobbi Flood, Cabra: Team Captain: Gold Medallist                                

75kg: Emma Keating, Paulstown                            

75kg: Joshua Olaniyan, Jobstown                             

80kg: Ryan Murphy, Neilstown                             

81kg: Dearbhla Tinnelly, Clann Naofa: Gold Medallist      

81+kg: Cliona Darcy, Tobar Pheadair: Gold Medalist     

86kg: Nathan Ojo, Esker

92kg: David J McDonagh, Olympic               

92+kg: Bernie Cawley, St David’s, Naas

Team Manager:          

Anna Moore 


James Doyle 

Liam Cunningham 

Aoife Hennigan 

Gerard McDaid 

Jim O’Neill

R & J:                          

Martin O’Neill 

Tournament Schedule

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: