Team Ireland will come home from the European Junior Championship with at least one medal after it was confirmed Mary McDonagh has won bronze.
The tournament is but a day old and at the preliminary round stage – but the Kerry starlet has already been assured of a place on the podium.
The draw has been kind to the Irish 75kg champion and she begins her campaign at the semi-final stage, meaning the emerging talent has already banked bronze and can boast to being a European medal winner.
It also means Sliabh Luachra have two 2022 European medal winners amongst their ranks, as McDonagh emulates her clubmate Jamesie Casey – a European Schools silver medal winner – in enjoying continental success.
The teen prospect takes the medal without having to throw a punch but that doesn’t mean it isn’t earned. McDonagh earned the right to compete in the competition by winning the Irish title and has put in the training to ensure she was ready to take on all comers at the tournament in Montesilvano, Italy.
The Castleisland fighter has no control over who decided to weigh in against her, and if others decide against competing and challenging, those remaining are medal-worthy.
It’s a scenario reigning World Champion Amy Broadhurst was faced with when winning her latest Irish title and it’s something one of the greatest fighters of all time, Katie Taylor had to contend with at National level for a long time.
Team Ireland Squad
The team captains are Cherry Orchard’s Charlie Valabergs and Dublin Docklands’ Ava Henry.
1. 44-46kg Alfie Jordan (Olympic L)
2. 48kg Jamie Collins (Drimnagh)
3. 50kg Calvin Doyle (Olympic L)
4. 52kg Johnny Harty (Portlaoise)
5. 54kg James Kelly (Holy Trinity)
6. 57kg Callum Carrager (Tredagh)
7. 60kg Ryan Jenkins (Olympic L)
8. 63kg Cillian Reilly (Jobstown)
9. 66kg Tadhg O’Donnell (Four Kings)
10. 70kg Charlie Valbergs (Cherry Orchard). Team Captain,
11. 75kg Dylan McShane (St Pauls A)
12. 80kg Jack Teggart Weatherall (St Pauls A)
13. 80+kg Adam Olaniyan (Jobstown)
1. 44-46kg Sophie Curley Gray (Dealgan)
2. 50kg Grace Conway (Tredagh)
3. 52kg Carlagh Peake (Ballyhaunis)
4. 54kg Niamh Keogh (Olympic L)
5. 57kg Siofra Lawless (Liberty)
6. 60kg Ava Henry (Docklands) Team Captain,
7. 63kg Kayleigh Whelan (Avona)
8. 66kg Sarah Murphy (St Brigids L)
9. 70kg Jodie Byrne (St Teresa’s)
10. 75kg Mary McDonagh (Sliabh Luachra)
11. 80kg Shauna Crehan (Dunboyne)
1. Ralph McKay
2. Liam Cunningham
3. Paul O’Toole
4. Linda Morgan