Team Ireland had six athletes in action across four sports on Saturday, the second day of the European Games in Minsk. Two finals were contested by Irish competitors, with Alice Sharpe 25th in the Cycling Women’s Cycling Road Race and Nathon Burns 7th in the Judo Men’s Half-light Weight 66kg.
In boxing, both Michael Nevin and Kieran Molloy progressed to the quarter finals, while shooters Aoife Gormally and Derek Burnett competed in the first day of the qualification rounds of the Shotgun Trap event.
Michael Nevin, first of the Irish boxers in the ring beat Britain’s Mark Dickinson in the men’s middleweight 75kg preliminary round. A cagey fight saw a tough opening round for Nevin as he was put through his paces due to an extremely strong start from Dickinson. A quick regroup from the Portlaoise-based boxer at the end of the round saw him come out strong in an absorbing second round. An extremely close battle followed in the closing round, before Nevin edged a 3-2 win.
Kieran Molloy put up a dominant display in his men’s welterweight clash with Goce Janeski (MKD), winning by unanimous decision. Molloy was in control from the off and powered through all three rounds in comprehensive fashion to leave the result beyond doubt.
In the 120km Women’s Road Race Alice Sharpe finished in 25th place in a fast bunch finish, 11 seconds behind the eventual gold and silver medallists from the Netherlands Lorena Wiebes and Marianne Vos, and Belarusian bronze medallist Tatsiana Sharakova.
Nathon Burns had four impressive performances as Judo got underway on Day 2 of the European Games. Competing at his first multi-sport event, Burns dominated his first fight in the Men’s 66kg Category defeating Portugal’s Joao Crisistomo to advance from the round of 32.
Burns was matched with a familiar opponent in the last 16, Belgium’s Kenneth Van Gansbeke, and in a much closer affair came out on top 1-0 after the 4-minute contest.
Burns took his impressive form into the quarter-final, but the fight ended in heartbreak for the 28-year-old as the eventual silver medallist, Matteo Medves of Italy, took the match in the dying seconds. His final finish position was seventh.
It was a similar story in the repechage where, with less than 20 seconds on the clock, Czech’s Pavel Petrikov scored to take the win.
Aoife Gormally and Derek Burnett were competing in the first day of qualification rounds of the Shotgun Trap, with Gormally lying 23rd in the Women’s Shotgun Trap going into the second day, on 60 points, and Burnett lying 25th on 65 points. The qualifications run across five rounds, and two days.
Sunday will see Irish athletes compete in shooting, cycling, judo, boxing and athletics.
Sunday’s Irish Competitors Schedule (Irish time):
07:00 – Shooting – Aoife Gormally, Women’s Shotgun Trap
07:00 – Shooting – Derek Burnett, Men’s Shotgun Trap
07:00 – Judo – Megan Fletcher, Women’s Middleweight 70kg
08:00 – Cycling – Mark Downey, Michael O’Loughlin, Robert Jon McCarthy, Ryan Mullen, Matthew Teggart Men’s Road Race
12:00 – Boxing – Regan Buckley Men’s Light Fly 49kg
12:00 – Boxing – Anthony Browne Men’s Heavy 91kg
15:44 – Athletics – Dynamic New Athletics – Full Irish Team.