Dearbhla Rooney, pictured on medals podium tonight, will be bringing home bronze from the Youth Olympics in Argentina.
The Leitrim feather recorded an emphatic unanimous decision over New Zealand’s Tai Shelford-Edmonds in tonight’s bronze medal box-off in Buenos Aires.
Rooney could even afford to throw away a point – she was done for pushing in the third – en route to a landslide 29-24,29-25,29-25,29-25,29-26 – verdict.
The European medalist forced her opponent into two standing counts after the sanction in the third and final round.
“Irish boxing never comes home without a medal,” said proud Irish coach Dmitry Dimitruck after the 57kg victory.
Rooney, who won two of her three fights at the 3rd edition of the Games, wasn’t leaving Argentina without something to show for it.
“I’m just absolutely over the moon, I said yesterday that I wasn’t coming home without a medal. I felt comfortable in there. I think a lot of boxing is mental strength, she said.
“If you told me this last year, I never would have dreamed that I’d be on the Youth Olympic team let along bringing home a bronze medal.”
Rooney’s podium finish completes an epic week in which Irish boxing also claimed 13 European Junior medals and one Olympic Youth bronze in two continents.
Tonight’s victory also maintains Irish boxing’s proud legacy of having won medals at every Youth Olympics. Current World pro champion Ryan Burnett won gold in Singapore in 2010 and Ciara Ginty and Michael Gallagher claimed silver and bronze in China in 2014.
Dean Clancy lost out in his bid for a medal earlier today.
The Sligo flyweight was beaten on a unanimous decision – 30-27 across the board – by Brazil’s World Youth bronze medallist Luiz de Oliviera in a box-off for 52kg bronze.
de Oliviera, switching from southpaw to orthodox, probably took the first round, but Clancy, who found the target with clean shots of both hands after backing his opponent onto the ropes, won the second on the unofficial cards.
The Brazilian detonated a fine left in the third but Clancy responded with a right straight down the middle in the early exchanges of a see-saw third stanza.
“It didn’t go my way, it is what it is. He got the better of me today. He boxes like a Cuban, he’s very sharp,” said Clancy. “Every fight is a valuable experience.
Team Ireland in Buenos Aires comprises of a squad of 16 athletes from 9 sports. The team are due to arrive home on Sunday.
Rooney, Clancy and Lauren Kelly represented Irish boxing in Buenos Aires. The trio qualified through the European Youth Championships.
Youth Olympics 2018
52kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) beat Hichen Maouche (Algeria) 5-0
57kg Dearbhla Rooney (Ireland) beat Linda Martinez (USA) 5-0
75kg Lauren Kelly (Ireland) lost to Anastasia Shamonova (Russia) 0-5
52kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) lost to Ivan Price (England) 0-5
57kg Dearbhla Rooney (Ireland) lost to Panpatchara Somnuek (Thailand) 1-4
Bronze medal Box Offs
52kg Dean Clancy (Ireland) lost Luiz de Olivera Brazil) 0-5
57kg Dearbhla Rooney (Ireland) beat Tai Shelford-Edmonds (New Zealand) 5-0
Irish Boxing Squad
52kg Dean Clancy (Ballinacarrow)
57kg Dearbhla Rooney (Sean McDermitt BC) (Bronze)
75kg Pauren Kelly (St Brigid’s, Edenderry)
Coach: Dmitry Dimitruk.