Saturday 21 September 2019

O'Rourke thrilled to make final for shot at Euro gold

O’Rourke, who’ll meet Poland’s Elziebta Wojcik in tonight’s final, landed most of the heavier shots in a fiery semi-final with her rights hooks causing a lot of issues for the Sochi orthodox in the opening frame (stock photo)
O’Rourke, who’ll meet Poland’s Elziebta Wojcik in tonight’s final, landed most of the heavier shots in a fiery semi-final with her rights hooks causing a lot of issues for the Sochi orthodox in the opening frame (stock photo)

Bernard O'Neill

Roscommon middleweight Aoife O'Rourke admitted she's still coming to terms with becoming the first Irishwoman besides Katie Taylor to reach a European Elite final after exacting sweet revenge in Madrid last night.

The Castlerea BC middleweight earned a 4-1 split decision over Russia's Olympic Youth and World Youth champion Anastasia Shamonova who beat the Irish boxer in the European U-22s this year.

O'Rourke, who'll meet Poland's Elziebta Wojcik in tonight's final, landed most of the heavier shots in a fiery semi-final with her rights hooks causing a lot of issues for the Sochi orthodox in the opening frame.

However, she ended the fight repeatedly ramming home left jabs against an exhausted-looking opponent who had only lost two bouts in 115 outings up to last evening.

"I knew I had the longer reach in the last round so I used the jab to keep her away," said O'Rourke who had head coach Zaur Antia and Damian Kennedy working her corner in the Spanish capital.

"I'm delighted but I'm still coming to terms with it. I've been working toward it but it doesn't feel real right now. It's a small bit of revenge for last time, but I wasn't focussing on that.

"I just wanted to perform and I performed. Zaur had the plan and it works every time. I knew she was tired near the end. I'm listening to Zaur and Damian for the plan for the final."

Meanwhile, while O'Rourke has a shot at gold, Dundalk southpaw Amy Broadhurst had to settle for bronze after dropping a unanimous decision to No. 1 seed Mira Potkonen.

Broadhurst asked some serious questions of the Finn, who beat Katie Taylor at Rio 2016, and deserved to win the first round. The second was tight and Potkonen won the third.

Irish Independent

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