It was a case of two out of three ain’t bad for Team Ireland on the opening day of the European Games.
Kellie Harrington and Dean Clancy both secured wins in the Preliminary rounds and took steps toward a medal and Olympic qualification.
Jude Gallagher put in a brilliant performance but exited stage left at the early stage.
Olympic lightweight champion, Harrington, opened proceedings against Serbia’s Miroslava Jedinakova. The Dubliner over came a significant height advantage to come away with a 4-1 win, the judges scoring the bout 28: 29, 30: 27, 30: 37, 30:27. 30:27. Speaking after Harrington said ‘Good starting point for the tournament for me today. She’s rangy and has an awkward style but I’m happy with how I performed. I’m always looking forward and thinking about my next bout, so now I’m focused on my last 16 bout on Monday.”
Next up was Commonwealth Games champion, 57kg Gallagher. The Old Castle fighter set a very high tempo in the first round, which he claimed, unanimously over Bulgaria’s Javier Ibanez Diaz. Despite valiant performances in rounds 2 and 3, the 4-1 decision went the Bulgarian’s way: 29-28, 28:29, 28:29, 28:29, 28:29. SPeaking after Gallagher said: “I am the Commonwealth champ, but this is my first tournament at this level. I set a high tempo in the first round and won that 5-0 and I thought I had done enough in rounds 2 and 3. A lot of positives from today’s bout, and a lot of great learning moments and experiences – looking forward to building on from my European Games experience.”
At 63.5kg Clancy met Austria’s Arsen Chabyan. The Sligo fighter was decisive and assured, throughout, and claimed a unanimous decision win from the judges: 28:29, 27: 30, 28: 29, 26: 30, 28: 29. “I’m a Youth Olympian, and am laser-focused on booking my place at Paris,” he said after. ” Today’s bout was a big one – the first one of the tournament for me, and it was important that I showed the judges what I can do, and my style of boxing. I’m back in the ring again on Sunday, and I’ll be gunning for a place in the Quarter Finals”
All results of all bouts, including judges scores by round, are available here
Head Coach, Zauri Antia, says “Very good opening day performances from Kellie, Jude and Dean. At this level of competition, there are no easy bouts. Every minute of every round is a technical and tactical challenge, and every minute of every round is a learning experience. Kellie, Jude and Dean are better boxers for their bouts today”.
4 more Team Ireland boxers will be in action on the second day of the tournament. In the afternoon session, 54kg Jennifer Lehane boxes Serbia’s Sara Cirkovic in bout 2, 57kg Michaela Walsh meets Olga Pavlina Papadatou of Greece in bout 3. In bout 8, 80kg Kelyn Cassidy steps between the ropes against Mindaugas Gedminas of Norway. In the evening session, 66kg Amy Broadhurst meets Milena Matovic of Serbia.