baku k

Ireland experienced mixed fortunes at the penultimate Olympic qualifiers in Baku, Azerbaijan today.

Dean Gardiner advanced to the quarter-finals at the tournament, but Dean Walsh bowed out.

Gardiner progressed after his fight with Satish Kumar was stopped late in the second round after the Indian suffered a facial cut following an accidental clash of heads with the scores level. Gardiner got the decision on a split when it went back to the judges.

Gardiner will now meet Viktor Vychryst of the Ukraine in the last-eight three wins away from qualifying for Rio. Super-heavyweights – and heavyweights – must win gold to qualify for August’s Olympics as there is just one place available in the 91kg+ class.

Dean Walsh was beaten on a unanimous decision by Bulgaria’s Smetov Ismetov in the last 32 of the competition in the Azeri capital this afternoon.

No. 1 seed Michael O’Reilly and Darren O’Neill, who won convincingly yesterday, will be in action tomorrow.

Irish Draw Baku Olympic qualifiers

June 18th

(Last 32)
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) beat Mustafa El Molla (Sweden) 3-0
June 19th
(Last 32)
64kg Dean Walsh (Ireland) lost to Smetov Ismetov (Bulgaria) 0-3
(Last 16)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner beat Satish Kumar (India) 2-1
June 20th
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) v Vitalia Dandarenka (Belarus) (last 32)
91kg Darren O’Neill (Ireland) v Wesley Apochi (Nigeria) (last 16)
June 21st

91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) v Viktor Vychryst (Ukraine)

Irish Squad

64kg (Light-welter) Dean Walsh (St Josephs/St Ibars)
75kg (Middleweight) Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
91kg (Heavyweight )Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91kg + (Super-heavy) Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger
Performance Analyst Alan Swanton
Sports Psychologist: Gerry Hussey