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MEDAL ALERT: Kristina O’Hara guarantees her first major medal and first of Commonwealth Games

Kristina O’Hara has confirmed the first Irish boxing medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Belfast light flyweight guaranteed herself bronze in Australia today with a split-decision quarter-final win.

Straight into the Last Eight on the Gold Coast, O’Hara got a tough draw and faced Welsh veteran Lynsey Holdaway in her opening bout.

The St John Bosco big-hitter though would prevail against the EU bronze medalist, taking a 3-2 win across the cards to bag her first major international medal.

It was a sweet win for O’Hara, with the West Belfast fighteer having been extremely unlucky to miss out on bronze, at least, at the EUs last year. Her win this morning came shortly after Rhys McClenaghan claimed Northern Ireland’s first gold of the tournament, topping the podium in the Men’s Pommel Horse.

O’Hara will look to upgrade to silver in the early hours of Wednesday versus Kiwi Tasmyn Benny – while the legendary Mary Kom faces Sri Lankan Anusha Dilrukshi Koddithuwakku in the corresponding semi.

Earlier, Steven Donnell breezed into the middleweight quarter-finals with a comfortable win over Gibrilla Kamara, dropping the Sierra Leonean and running up a wide scorecards win. The Ballymena veteran will now box Samoan Henry Tyrell for a bronze – his second after winning the same four years ago – on Wednesday at about 5:45am.

There is one more Irish fighter in action Down Under today, with Belfast light welter and team captain Sean McComb going up against England’s Luke McCormack in a rematch of their controversial European quarter-finals in the Last 16 here. This bout takes place at around 11:15am and the winner is tipped to go on and claim light welterweight gold.

All times Irish time. The Gold Coast is nine hours ahead.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie