Dearbhla Rooney advanced to the last four of the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in the early hours of this morning.
The Leitrim featherweight beat America’s Linda Martinez on a unanimous decision – 30-27 across the board – to advance to the semi-finals.
She’ll now meet an opponent to be confirmed in the semi-finals with at least a silver medal up for grabs. “I was happy with how I fought. The first fight is always tough,” she said.
Rooney’s compatriots Dean Clancy and Lauren Kelly were also in action yesterday, with Clancy winning but Kelly dropping a unanimous decision to Russia’s current World and European Youth champion.
Because of the convoluted draw system, Clancy could meet the man he beat yesterday again for a place in the flyweight final.
He said: “The first round I was coming in establishing my jab, finding out the type of boxer he is, and from there on, I dominated with my jab, followed up with my backhand.
“I’m into the semis now, he’s going to have a box off with England, I’ll be fighting the winner of that. I could be fighting him again if he beats England, but you never know.”
Kelly said: “She’s three-time European champion and three-time World champion, she hasn’t been beaten in six years.
“It was a big ask for me to win against her. My aim was to get through those three rounds and be happy with myself. And I’m happy with my performance.”
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
Irish coach: Dmitry Dimitruk
TEAM IRELAND YOUTH OLYMPIC BUENOS AIRES 2018
Miriam Daly (400m Hurdles), Sophie Meredith (Long Jump), Miranda Tcheutchoua (Hammer)
Nhat Nguyen (Men’s Singles)
Dean Clancy (Flyweight, Ballinacarrow BC), Lauren Kelly (Middleweight, St Brigid’s BC Edenderry), Dearbhla Rooney (Featherweight, Sean McDermott BC)
Tanya Watson (10m Platform)
Sean McCarthy Crean (+68kg)
Lauren Crowley Walsh (Women’s Individual, Mixed Team), David Kitt (Men’s Individual, Mixed Team)
Emma Slevin (Women’s Artistic Programme)
Niamh Coyne (50, 100, 200 breaststroke), Mona McSharry (50, 100, 200 breaststroke, 50 freestyle), Robert Powell (50, 100 freestyle, 50 butterfly)
Georgia Drummy (Women’s Singles)