Grainne Walsh produced a top class performance to claim victory on her World Elite Championships debut in Astana, Kazakhstan today.
The Sparticus BC (Offaly) welter bounced back from losing the first round on two of the three cards to dominate the remaining three frames en route to a unanimous decision over Poland’s Hanna Solecka to move to within one victory of at least bronze.
The 20-year-old will now meet Kazakhstan’s Valentina Khalzova in the quarter-finals on Tuesday one positive decision away from becoming to only Irish boxer besides Katie Taylor to claim a medal at this level.
Neither Walsh or Solecka had to go looking for each other this morning, but Walsh’s cleaner work was beginning to tell early in the second round.
The former Irish U/21 and Intermediate champion began finding the target with more regularity off both hands with her Polish opponent ending up on the floor. That was ruled a slip…….
Walsh soaked up a few shots on her way to victory but also took the third and sealed the win with a flurry of punches late in the fourth. Khalzova, meantime, beat the Uzbek No. 3 seed Shahnoza Nizamova today.
“I’ll be aiming for nothing less than a medal,” said Walsh before the start of the 9th edition of the World Women’s Championships.
Walsh, who received a bye into the last 16, was the only Irish boxer in action today. Kelly Harrington and Katie Taylor are between the ropes tomorrow in the last 16 of the tournament.
AIBA World Women’s Championships Astana, Kazakhstan
May 19th (Last 64)
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Ingrit Valencia (Colombia) 0-2
May 20th (Last 32)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Diletta Cipallane (Italy) 0-3
57kg Moira McElligot (Ireland) lost to Sati Burcu (Turkey) 1-2
64kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Austeja Auciute (Lithuania) 3-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Khadija Mardi (Morocco) 0-3
May 21st (Last 32)
48kg Donna Barr (Ireland) lost to Kim Klavel (Canada) 0-3
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 3-0
May 22nd (Last 16)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Hanna Solecka (Poland) 3-0
May 23 (last 16)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Dayana Sanchez (Argentina)
64kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) v Cindy Rogge (Germany)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) v Valentina Khalzova (Kazakhstan)
48kg Donna Barr (Twin Towns)
51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)
57kg Moira McElligot (St Michael’s Athy)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
64kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)
Team manager: Anna Moore
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Gerry Storey, Pat McDonagh