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Super Shannon Sweeney books European final spot

St Anne’s southpaw Shannon Sweeney will go for gold at the European Championships in Serbia.

The Irish light-fly overcame Anush Grigoryan in a 50kgs semi-final on Thursday to seal her spot in the final.

Sweeney, who disposed of the gold medal favourite Laura Fuertes Fernandez to earn a place on the podium, claimed a unanimous decision.

The Westport woman advances to the final after scorecards of 30-27 x2 and 29-28 x3 landed in her favour. Not only does Sweeney get a chance to fight for gold, but her prize money has rocketed up to a guaranteed $10,000 as a result of this win.

Sweeney was up on the cards of the Belgian, Kazakh and Serbian judges after the opening stanza, a series of razor-sharp combination clearly catching the eyes of more than Grigoryan.

Sweeney had two wins in two days, against Fernandez and Russian Galiusa Galieva to make it into the semi-finals.

The nine minutes of work against the number 1 seed, Fernandez, represented a career-best performance from Sweeney.

A bronze medal winner at these Championships in 2022, when she lost to Sevda Asenova, Sweeney can now reach for the stars this weekend.

Grigoryan, the World Youth finalist in 2013, upped the ante in the second round and a shot in the red corner just before the buzzer was maybe key in ensuring she brought herself right back into contention.

The sums were level on three of the cards heading into a now-crucial final round. Sweeney held sway on the other two and the Irish woman was able to shake the head clear.

In the third stanza, Sweeney was back at her best again – and a continental gold is now within touching distance.

Sweeney finished well to ensure that there was no upset at the hands of Grigoryan, who had defeated Ormeau Road’s Carly McNaul at the 2019 Cologne Boxing World Cup final.