CAITLIN Fryers gave it all she had, but was well beaten by Turkey’s Buse Naz Cakiroglu in this afternoon’s 50kg final.
The tournament had already been a huge success for the West Belfast woman, and the remaining question to be answered was whether she could upset the Turkish Olympic silver medallist.
Before the bout Fryers looked nervous yet determined, and from the earliest moments it was clear she was going to try and bring the fight to Cakiroglu.
However the 26 year old southpaw had her number throughout, delivering a superb performance to deservedly secure the gold.
In the first round she frequently waited for Fryers to attack, then smartly stepped aside and landed herself. She kept her hands very low, but when Fryers did try to land she was simply not where the Irish woman expected, and was prepared to launch her own offensives.
All judges scored the round in her favour, and she was even more dominant in the second, when three of the five scored it 10-8 in her favour. Throughout the stanza she showed a great ability to spot openings that weren’t always apparent, as well as continuing to avoid whatever Fryers was throwing, just before countering.
Going into the final round Fryers was fighting for pride more than anything, and to her immense credit she kept her intensity high, kept coming forward, and kept looking to land her shots.
However it was just impossible for her to get the measure of the Turk, who looked increasingly confident and composed, as she cantered to a unanimous victory.
While disappointment was her lot in the final, the 22 year old will be hugely proud of her silver medal and the progression show throughout the tournament.
Team Ireland Squad
48kg: Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s, Mayo
50kg: Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast
52kg: Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast
54kg: Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin
57kg: Michaela Walsh, Emerald BC, Belfast
60kg: Kellie Harrington, St. Mary’s BC, Dublin
63kg: Amy Broadhurst, St. Bronagh’s ABC, Newry
66kg: Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow
70kg: Christina Desmond, Dungarvan BC/Garda BC
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway