Boxer Michaela Walsh has to settle for a silver medal when losing a split decision in her final on Saturday, while Chloe and Sam Magee take home a bronze medal after their defeat by the European and Commonwealth Champions.
There was disappointment for Ireland’s Michaela Walsh when she lost out on a 4-1 split decision to Stanimira Petrova of Bulgaria in the Women’s Featherweight -57kg Final at the European Games in Minsk.
In a cagey fight from the start, both boxers worked hard to get the upper hand. Bulgarian Petrova favoured an upright style to which the Irishwoman had to work hard to adjust to. A close second round saw Walsh successful with some jabs, but Petrova shaded the final round and secured the 4-1 split decision to secure the gold medal.
Speaking afterwards, a devastated Walsh said: “I’m really heartbroken but, at the end of the day, this is all with an eye to Tokyo and I just have to accept what it is. I thought that I got it, but it is what is, and we’ll just have to move on and get back to the drawing board I guess.”
In Badminton Mixed Doubles, Chloe and Sam Magee bowed out of the European Games when losing in two straight sets (21-8, 21-18) to European Champions and Commonwealth Games gold medal winners Gabrielle and Chris Adcock of Britain.
The British pair, favourites to take the gold at this tournament, got off to a blistering start, driving into a strong early lead as the Donegal siblings took time to settle. They were ruthless on the backcourt, powering home some aggressive points and forcing the Magees to play to their rapid fire pace, taking the first game, 21-8.
Chloe and Sam Magee came out stronger in the second game matching the Britons score for score. Sam dominated the back court, while Chloe pulled off some key hard shots to keep the game in the melting pot. The British pairing rallied well, however, to finish strongly, winning 21-18 and advancing to the final.
Despite the disappointment of losing, the Magees were happy to have matched their bronze medal achievement from Baku in 2015.
“It’s so nice to contribute a medal, especially with the boxers doing brilliant so it’s nice that badminton can also put in a medal for team Ireland,” Sam said afterwards. “We are super proud of course, these things don’t come around that often and we know how special it is to win bronze.”