Ireland arrived in Minsk in the early hours of this morning ahead of the opening bell for the European Games at the Sports Palace in the Belarusian capital on Friday.

The draw for the tournament will be made at 8.30am (Irish time) tomorrow morning.

It is not clear whether seeding will be in operation at the 2nd edition of the Games since Baku 2015.

World and European Elite champions Kellie Harrington and Finland’s Mira Potkonen are in the mix in the lightweight class.

The Irish squad are scheduled to have their first training session later this afternoon in Minsk.

Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine had to withdraw from the Irish team for Belarus after picking up a foot injury.

Current European Union Elite champion Kurt Walker was edged out on a split decision by Russia’s eventual gold medallist Bakatovar Nazirov at the 2015 Games and told the Irish News that he believes the experience will stand to him.

“It was intimidating last time but a lot has changed since them. I’m experienced at this level now, said the Canal BC bantam.

“Very few people just go out and start winning stuff. I feel like I’ve served my time now and I’m going to reap the rewards, try and get more and more gold medals.

“If I could come back with a gold medal it would be massive.”

More than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will compete across 200 events at the Games.

The competition runs from June 21 to 30 and will feature 15 sports, eight of which are part of the Tokyo 2020 qualification process.

Ireland has named a squad of 65 athletes from nine sports for Minsk.


Irish squad


57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown A)

60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)

69kg Gráinne Walsh (Sparticus)

75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)


49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresas)

56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)

64kg James McGivern (St George’s)

69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)

75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)

91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager: Bernard Dunne

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk