Michael Nevin joined Regan Buckley on the winner’s podium at the European Games in Minsk following a classy victory over Guler Serhat this evening.
The Laois middle, in his third win in four days, assured himself of at least bronze following a 4-1 verdict over the busy Turk.
Nevin won 30-27,30-27,29-28,29-28 for with one 29-28 against after three, three-minute frames.
“I’m feeling good, happy with my performance. On to the next one now,” said the former European Schoolboy, Junior and Youth champion.
Earlier, Bray pocket rocket Buckley delivered Ireland’s first medal – in any sport – of the Games following a thriller with Martin Molina.
The Irish light fly beat the Spaniard on a 4-1 split decision to guarantee himself at least bronze.
The final scores following an up-tempo 49kg clash read 29-28,29-28,29-28,29-28 to Buckley and 29-28 against.
Aoife O’Rourke made a huge impression on her debut at this level.
The Irish middle convincingly beat World and European Elite bronze medallist Viktoryia Kebikova (Belarus) to book her ticket into the quarter-finals where she’ll meet Welsh southpaw Lauren Price in a Celtic derby.
“I’m very happy to have the first one out of the way. It was a very tough fight from the start, but I expected it. I was trying my best to follow the instructions of the coaches were giving and the shots were landing,” said O’Rourke.
James McGivern lost out to Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia), the No. 1 seed in the light-welter class earlier this afternoon.
Irish boxing has now won six medals at the last two European Games. Katie Taylor, lightweight, and Michael O’Reilly, middleweight, won double gold at Baku 2015 and Brendan Irvine and Sean McComb took home silver and bronze. Nevin and Buckley added to that haul today.
Kellie Harrington, Kurt Walker, Michaela Walsh, Grainne Walsh and O’Rourke will be aiming to improve that tally tomorrow.
Current European Union featherweight champion Michaela Walsh gets Wednesday’s quarter-finals underway versus Germany’s World Elite champion Ornella Wahner at 12pm.
Ireland’s World Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington meets Italy’s Irma Testa at 5pm (see below draw for all times).
Harrington and Wahner were the only two Europeans to win gold at the World Elites in New Delhi last year.
Kurt Walker, the No. 4 seed in Minsk, meets French bantam Samuel Kistohurry in the last eight in a repeat of the 2012 World Youth clash in Armenia which Walker won on his way to bronze.
The women’s lightweight and men’s middleweight titles at the European Games have never been outside of Ireland.
In regards to the middleweight belt, the 75kg top prize has never been outside of the Portlaoise BC, and Michael Nevin is two wins away from keeping it that way until Krakow 2023.
Bernard Dunne, IABA High-Performance Director, hailed today’s performances.
“(James) McGivern just fell short but Aoife O’Rourke was just superb in her defeat of the World bronze medalist from Belarus. And Mr Regan Buckley has just booked his place in the semi-finals and earned himself a medal.
“Michael Nevin has just put in a top-class performance in his victory over Turkey to guarantee another medal. Was a fantastic bout and great to see him perform as he did.”
Ireland has won 11 of 15 contests so far at the 2nd edition of the Games.
Thursday is a rest day in Minsk. The semi-finals and finals at the 44-nation tournament will be decided on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
(Images courtesy of Stephen Molloy and Team Ireland)
European Games 2019 Minsk, Belarus
64kg James McGivern (Ireland) lost to Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia) 0-5
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Viktoryia Kebikova (Belarus) 4-1
49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) beat Martin Molina (Spain) 4-1
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Guler Serhat (Turkey) 4-1
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) v Samuel Kistohurry (France) (1.45pm)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) v Ornella Wahner (Germany) (12 pm)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Irma Testa (Italy) (5pm)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Elina Gustafsson (Finland) (12.45pm)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) v Lauren Price (Team GB) (5.45pm)
(Approximate times (Irish times) for above)
49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) v Artur Hovannisyan (Armenia)
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) Salavtore Cavallaro (Italy)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) beat Goce Janeski (Northern Macedonia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Mark Dickinson (Team GB) 3-2
49kg Regan Buckley (Ireland) beat Bator Sagalvev (Russia) 5-0
75kg Michael Nevin (Ireland) beat Kamran Shakhsuvarly (Azerbaijan) 5-0
91kg Anthony Browne (Ireland) lost to Toni Filipi (Croatia) 1-4
64kg James McGivern (Ireland) beat Michael Takacs (Slovakia) 5-0
56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Zhirayr Saeqsyan (Armenia) 4-1
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Lenuta Perijoc (Romania) 4-1
69kg Kieran Molloy (Ireland) lost to Yauheni Dauhaliavets (Belarus) 4-1
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Rosie Eccles (Team GB) 4-1
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Mikheil Bakhtidze (Georgia) 1-4
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A)
60kg Kellie Harrington (St Marys)
69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s) (Bronze, at least)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
64kg James McGivern (St George’s)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) (Bronze, at least)
91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk