Michaela Walsh Strikes Gold for Ireland
Michaela Walsh broke down in tears after she received the gold medal for her fight at the European Union Boxing Championships in Germany. She beat out Nimani Azize during the 54-kilogram final, and displayed her significant pedigree after initially being omitted from the squad that was attending the championship.
Walsh has since tweeted about her being unable to stop smiling even though she hadn’t slept in over 30 hours, and has also spoken of her dreams coming true via the social media platform.
Walsh Left at Home to Train
Walsh, along with her teammate Kristina O’Hara, had been left at home, in Dublin, to train, while the remainder of the Irish squad went on to attend a pre-comp training camp for one week in France. The 24-year old then went on to join her team, and has finished at the top of the pile, with the sole gold medal for the country.
Azize Enjoyed the Support of the Home Crowd
Thanks to the overwhelming reinforcement the home crowd gave Azize, she benefitted during the opening exchanges. But the native athlete from Antrim found her feet as the fight continued, and went on to claim no uncertain victory.
Walsh Acknowledges Her Fans
Once she got onto the podium, Walsh held her medal aloft, recognising the travelling fans that had provided her with the much-needed support that saw her through the bout, which brought smiles to the faces of the many punters who had backed her at online betting NZ sites and those around the world.
Kellie Harrington Unable to Upgrade
Kellie Harrington, on the other hand, was not able to upgrade her silver medal to gold after she was defeated during her 60-kilogram final match.
The Dubliner had taken on Katie Taylor’s conqueror in Rio 2016, Mira Potkonen, from Finland, and, although her initial aggression in the ring saw her do well, she was eventually overtaken by the Fin’s power. The 27-year old Harrington found she was on the wrong end of count twice, and, at the end of the day could not get back to take the title.
It was Ireland’s second final for the day, and it was a sore disappointment when the split decision gave the match to Potkonen.
The Scourge of the Irish
The powerful fighter from Finland is fast becoming the scourge of the Irish, but did deserve the nod thanks to her forcing two standing counts from Harrington in the match’s final round.
Harrington frequent stance switches and good timing could not make up for her tiredness in the second half of the game. The third and final part of the match became a mere formality, as Harrington was completely dominated by the Fin, forcing the ref to come to Harrington’s aid more than once.
A Tally of Three for the Irish
The results from these matches have seen Ireland’s tally rise to three at the European Union Boxing Championships, thanks to Grainne Walsh managing a bronze medal before she exited during her semi-final on Friday.
Ireland’s boxers have done their country proud, and their superb tournaments performances see them returning home with a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal this year.