Northern Ireland pick up six silvers in the ring


Brendan Irvine (L) poses with his silver medal

There was no gold on the Gold Coast for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday as all six of their fighters lost their finals Down Under.

Kristina O’Hara had to settle for second in the light-flyweight division as Indian boxer Mary Kom powered to victory in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Despite three young children and five world titles, Kom says she remains intent on concluding her remarkable boxing career with Olympic gold.

The 35-year-old fought poverty and prejudice in remote Manipur to become an icon in her homeland, where she has won the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, and had a book and a movie made about her life and career.

Kom, who returned to the sport after having her third child, named Prince, in July 2013, said: “It is very hard to come back but I have not had any injuries and my will-power and mental strength is strong.”

Carly McNaul, also had to settle for silver as Lisa Whiteside claimed her long-awaited first major championship gold medal with victory in the women’s flyweight final.

The 32-year-old, who spent much of her career in the shadows of team-mate Nicola Adams, comfortably outpointed Belfast’s McNaul.

Brendan Irvine dropped an entertaining unanimous decision to India’s Gaurav Solanki.

The Irish Olympian had edged Scotland’s Reece McFadden via split decision to set up a crack at the gold but he came out the wrong side of a good contest this time, with Solanki getting the verdict.

Peter McGrail won another gold for England with a points win over Lisburn man Kurt Walker at 56kg, and another Belfast fighter – Michaela Walsh – also bagged silver following her loss to Australia’s Skye Nicolson at featherweight.

Walsh, however was particularly disappointed with that result and tweeted her criticism following the result which saw three of the five judges score the fight in Nicolson’s favour.

She wrote:

I don’t know how you can loose a fight without barely getting hit for 3 rounds. This is a Gold medal, in my heart and everyone who watched knows I won. People haven’t stopped coming up to me saying I won. I will be back bigger and stronger! Gold medals only’

Her brother Aidan Walsh came undone against England’s Pat McCormack who earned a one-sided victory in the 69kg final.


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