Michaela Walsh secured European Games bronze in sensational style in Minsk this morning.
The Belfast fighter got a busy day for Ireland off to a perfect start by defeating reigning world champion and tournament favourite Ornella Wahner at the quarterfinal stage of the 57kg division.
The Monkstown ABC fighter was handed a tough medal fight, but proved her world class credentials with a victory over the German history maker and gold medal winner in India to progress to the semi finals.
The win, which came via a 4-1 split, means Walsh is a European Union, two time Commonwealth, European Championship and now European Games medal winner.
The medal is Ireland’s third boxing medal in the competition so far as Walsh joins light flyweight Regan Buckley and middleweight Michael Nevin on the winners podium.
All three will be hoping to upgrade the colour of their medals as the fight for places in the final in the coming days.
— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) June 26, 2019
Four more Irish fighters will be looking to join the trio in the medal ranks as they fight later today.
Ireland’s World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington meets Italy’s Irma Testa at 5pm.
Harrington and Wahner, who Walsh has just defeated, were the only two Europeans to win gold at the World Elites in New Delhi last year.
Medal No. 3 secured for #TeamIreland at the European Olympic Games.
Michaela Walsh has just beat the World Champion and moves onto the next step with a great performance.
— Bernard Dunne (@Bernard_Dunne) June 26, 2019
Kurt Walker, the No. 4 seed in Minsk, meets French bantam Samuel Kistohurry in the last eight in a repeat of the 2012 World Youth clash in Armenia which Walker won on his way to bronze.
Grainne Walsh faces Finish opposition in Elina Gustafsson, the reigning European champion, while Lauren Price of Team GB is the opponent for Aoife O’Rourke.
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)
69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s) (Bronze, at least)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
64kg James McGivern (St George’s)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) (Bronze, at least)
91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk