Christina Desmond and Ken Okungbowa claimed at least double bronze for Irish boxing at the 7th World University Championships in Thailand today.
The Cork and Athlone middleweight and heavyweight beat Kazakhstan’s Zuar Kussainova and Lithuania’s Tadas Tamasuskas on unanimous and split decisions at Chiang Mai University.
The verdicts guarantee Irish boxing its first ever medals at this level.
“Absolutely delighted with the win, I always felt in control and hopefully I can make the final now,” said current Irish Elite champion Desmond after her convincing victory.
Okungbowa, who rattld his opponent with a big shot in the first, was involved in a very tight affair with Tamasuskas, who needed attention for a cut in the second round. The Irish Elite finalist needed precautionary attention to nicks over both eyes after the fight, Irish coach Paddy Gallagher confirmed.
The injuries were described as superficial by medics.
Both Desmond and Okungbowa will be aiming to upgrade to at least silver on Thursday versus Poland and France.
Ceire Smith and Gary McKenna are in action tomorrow morning (Irish time) in the last-eight of the tournament. The Irish pair are between the ropes in the 2nd and 5th bouts on the program which begins at 8am (Irish time).
The Irish Athletic Third-Level Boxing Association are using a five-strong squad in south east Asia.
7th World University Championships Thailand, October 3/8
75kg: Conor Wallace Ireland) lost to Valerii Kharlamov (Ukraine) TKOI3
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) beat Zura Kussainova (Kazakhstan) 3-0
91kg Ken Okungbowa (Ireland) beat Tadas Tamasuskas (Lithuania) 2-1
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) v Wassila Lkhadiri (France)
60kg Gary McKenna (Ireland) v Temirian Osmonov (Kyrgyzstan)
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) v Natalia Hollinska (Poland)
91kg Ken Okungbowa (Ireland) v Dylan Bregeon (France)
51kg Ceire Smith – Cavan BC & DCU
60kg Gary McKenna – Old School BC Monaghan & University of Ulster
75kg Christina Desmond – Fr Horgans BC & LIT (Bronze, at least)
75kg Conor Wallace – St Monica’s Newry & University of Ulster
91kg Kenneth Okungbowa – Athlone BC & AIT (Bronze, at least)
Team manager: Paul Geoghegan
Coach: Paddy Gallagher