A keyword proved key in Jennifer Lehane unlocking the door to the European Games quarter-finals.
Ashbourne’s Lehane got Ireland off to the perfect start on a busy Monday in Poland by beating Antonia Filipp Giannakopoulou in the 54kg round of 16.
The DCU fighter came out on top of what was a tactical battle despite suffering an early point deduction – and revealed a the word ‘space’ helped her stay focused on what proved a crucial game plan.
“We had a keyword going into the fight, which was space,” explained the bantamweight. “My coaches were putting that back into my head, not get caught up in there because she does like to get in and get rough. So, yeah, I’m not too sure if I pulled it off that much, but I did come out, I came out on top, so I got the job done.”
Reflecting further on the victory over the Greek she added: “We knew it was going to be a tough fight. She’s very much an aggressor, so I was expecting her to be coming forward. A lot of the tactics went to plan. Others, you know, I got a bit mixed up in inside there, and that resulted in a point deduction first round, but I dug deep for round two and then again for round three, pushed it on to get a unanimous decision. So, I’m happy out.”