Thursday 23 November 2017

Boxing: Rowland denied gold in countback heartache

MAYO's Katie Rowland was denied a gold medal at the European Youth and Junior Women's Championships by the narrowest possible margin in France on Saturday.

Rowland, from the Geesala BC, was tied at 4-4 with Victoriya Kuleshava at the final bell, but the Russian flyweight claimed gold in the 51kg Youth final on a razor-thin 10-9 countback in Calais.

Meanwhile, Christine Gargan from St Georges BC was beaten 12-1 by Svetlana Dmitrieva, also of Russia, in the 46kg Junior final. Nicole Meli, Mikela Walsh, Sarah Close and Clare Grace also finished in podium positions to help Ireland's 10-strong squad secure two silver and four bronze medals.

Irish coach Pat McDonagh said that he thought that the squad performed magnificently throughout the tournament.

"I thought that Katie did enough to win her final, but it just didn't go our way and we're gutted, said McDonagh, who is Rowland's coach at the Geesala BC in Mayo.

"Katie was absolutely brilliant. Our girls also showed that Irish women's boxing is now a force to be reckoned with internationally. The medals are a bonus -- a very welcome bonus. To win two silver and four bronze medals at this level is a magnificent achievement by any standard."

"It was a brilliant performance all round from the Irish squad", added IABA director of boxing Dominic O'Rourke, who is in Kazakhstan for the AIBA congress.

"Winning six medals at a major tournament is a milestone for us and we could have won a gold as Katie was very unlucky to lost out on a countback."

Meanwhile, World champ Katie Taylor flies out to Kazakhstan today to accept her World Boxer of the year award at the AIBA Congress tomorrow. Taylor also won this award in 2008 in Moscow.

Irish Independent

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