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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 20 September, 2017
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Ireland's Michaela Walsh wins gold at the EU Boxing Championships, Kellie Harrington settles for silver

Ireland come home from a superb tournament with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

IRELAND’S MICHAELA WALSH has won gold at the European Union Boxing Championships in Cascia, Italy.

Belfast’s Walsh, who wasn’t selected in the original Irish squad for the tournament, won by unanimous decision in the 54kg final against Azize Nimani of Germany.

Walsh and team-mate Kristina O’Hara were left to train in Dublin while the rest of the Ireland squad attended a week-long pre-competition training camp in France; the 24-year-old Antrim woman joined the rest of squad behind in her preparation, and finishes on top of the pile after securing Ireland’s sole gold medal at the tournament.

The former Commonwealth silver medallist was visibly emotional as Amhrán na bhFiann rang out in the mountainous town, topping the podium for the first time as a Senior international boxer.

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In Ireland’s second final of the day, there was disappointment for Dublin’s Kellie Harrington who was forced to settle for silver after losing a split decision to Mira Potkonen.

The powerful Fin is fast becoming the scourge of Irish women’s boxing having knocked Katie Taylor out of the Olympics in Rio last summer, but deserved the nod after forcing two standing counts from the 27-year-old Harrington in the final round.

The St. Marys fighter began the stronger and likely nicked the opening stanza, frequently switching stances and timing Potkonen with counter right-hands, but conspicuously tired in the second as Potkonen began to drop big rights of her own.

The third was almost a formality as the former World bronze medallist, 36, physically dominated Harrington, forcing the referee to come to the latter’s aid on two occasions.

Ireland finish the tournament with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal after Gráinne Walsh exited at the semi-final stage via a controversial decision yesterday.

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