IRELAND has won three gold medals at the European Youth Boxing Championships in Bulgaria.
TIn the final session of the U-18 tournament in Sofia, co-captain Bobbi Flood (Cabra BC) and Cliona Darcy from the Gort based Tobar Pheadair club ended a remarkable event for Ireland when crowned light middleweight and heavyweight champions respectively.
Earlier, Dundalk light heavyweight Dearbhla Tinnelly outclassed Ukrainian Karine Airapetian to win a European title as well.
The Irish squad won eight medals in total; three gold, one silver and four bronze underlining the calibre of the talent coming through from the clubs.
Admittedly the absence of the Russian squad left the door ajar, and it was Ukraine and Ireland who dominated the tournament.
It was a breakthrough win at international level for Flood who is eligible to compete again next year. He outclassed Italian Gabriele Rontami in the gold medal bout in the 71kg class.
He forced his opponent to take standing counts in both the second and third rounds on his way to a resounding success.
Likewise, in the heavyweight decider Cliona Darcy dominated against Ukraine’s Polina Cherenko. There was plenty of noise in the Sofia Hall as their respective team-mates cheered them on.
The Lithuanian judge did score the contest 29-28 in favour of the Ukrainian but three of the judges scored it decisively in favour of Darcy (30-27) and the other official also gave her the nod (29-28)
Earlier Tinnelly (Clann Naofa) won her third but most significant European medal when she was crowned light heavyweight U-18 champion.
Previously she won a European silver medal at U-14 level in 2018 and a bronze at junior (U-16) level three years ago.
This was the first time Ireland entered female boxers in the heavier weight divisions at this level but unfortunately at Olympic level the heaviest weight division for women is 75kg.
There was no joy for Mayo light middleweight Laura Moran (St Anne’s) who lost on a split 3-2 decision to the defending champion Veronika Nakota from Ukraine. However, Moran takes home a silver medal.
Ireland other medallists, who all won bronze, were Patsy Joyce (Olympic), Georgia Dunn McGovern (Setanta), Winnie McDonagh (Neilstown) and Katie O’Keeffe (Kanturk).