Katie Taylor bowed out of the Olympic Games at the quarter-final stage today.
The Bray lightweight was beaten by Finland’s Mira Potkonen on a split decision for a place in the 60kg semi-final.
Potkonen,who had lost three times to Taylor prior to today,is now guaranteed at least bronze. She’ll meet Chian’s Yin Junhua, who beat Azerbaijan’s Yana Alexseevna today, in the last-four.
Taylor started brightly and took the first on a split, but the hard-working Finn won the second frame across the board.
Taylor split the judges in her favour in rounds three and four.Her combinations, when launched,were mostly sharp and accurate,Potkonen mainly concentrating on single shots.
The aggressive Finn was also on the front foot for most of today’s 60kg clash.
When it went back to the judge who scored it level – 39-37, 38-38, 37-39 – he gave Potkonen,who was finding the target off solid rights in all four rounds,the nod.
Ultimately, it was the second round that cost Taylor, who detonated the majority of cleaner shots today,a place in the semi-finals and a second successive Olympic medal.
Potkonen took that frame 10-9 across the board. Taylor,who straightened her industrious opponent with a trademark combo in the third,split the judges in her favour in rounds one, three and four and won three of the four rounds in a tense fight.
But Potkonen got the decision,and Taylor, who received a bye into the last-eight, has now lost her first Olympic fight in four outings since London 2012.
The Bray woman,very emotional after the contest,admitted her losses this year have been difficult.
“It’s been a very tough year, suffered a lot of losses which are very,very hard to take, she said.
“The Olympics is a dream from me.I came in here,prepared very well, gave it my best shot.It’s very disappointing.”
“I thought she probably won the second round,but I thought the other three rounds went my way.I should be beating those girls. I don’t know what to say about it really.”
Irish head coach Zaur Antia was adamant that Taylor did enough to book a ticket into the last-four.
He said: “She won,she had good skills, sidesteps, clean punches.Katie hit more, two times more than she got, what else she can do?
“Nobody can convince me that this fight Katie lost; then I have no experience and I don’t know boxing.
“You see her corner there, they were not happy, they were not sure, they had no confidence. When they raised her hand did you see how they jumped.”
Michael Conlan is now the only Irish boxer left at Rio 2016.
The Belfast bantam meets Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals tomorrow at approximately 3:30pm Irish time in a repeat of the 2013 World Elite quarter-final which the Russian won in Kazakhstan.
However, Conlan had just moved up from flyweight to bantam for that tournament following the departure of London 2012 silver medallist John Joe Nevin to the pro ranks.
The winner of Tuesday’s 56kg bout will be guaranteed at least bronze.
Almost 60 bouts at Rio 2016 have been decided on split decision so far.Four of those split decisions have gone against Ireland.
Irish Draw Rio Olympics
August 7th (last 32)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) beat Andrique Allisop (Seychelles) 3-0
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Zahir Kedache (Algeria) 3-0
August 8th (last 16)
49kg Paddy Barnes (Ireland) lost to Samuel Carmona (Spain) 1-2
August 9th (last 16)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (Ireland) lost to Albert Selimov (Azerbaijan) 0-3
August 10th (last 16)
81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) lost to Carlos Andreas Mina (Ecuador) 1-2
August 11th (last 16)
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) beat Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia) 2-1
August 12th (last 16)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Ireland) lost to Uziel Rodriquez (Mexico) W/O
August 13th (last 32)
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) 0-3
69kg Steven Donnelly (Ireland) lost to Mohammed Rabii (Morocco) 1-2
August 14th (last 16)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) beat Aram Avagyan (Armenia) 3-0
August 15th (Q/Final)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland) 1-2
August 16th (Q/Final)
56kg Michael Conlan (Ireland) v Vladimir Nikitin (Russia)
60kg (Lightweight) – Katie Taylor (Bray)
49kg (Light-flyweight) – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg (Flyweight) – Brendan Irvine (St Paul’s)
56kg (Bantamweight) – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg (Lightweight) – David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy & AIBA Pro Boxing)
69kg (Welterweight) – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg (Middleweight) – Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
81kg (Light-heavyweight) – Joe Ward (Moate & AIBA Pro Boxing)
Team Manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan
Physio: Julianne Ryan
Sport Psychologist: Gerry Hussey
Doctor: Jim Clover