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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Ireland bow out of World Championships with no medals after spirited last-eight defeats

Amy Broadhurst was bested by the scourge of Irish boxing, Mira Potkonen, while Christina Desmond lost to Busenaz Surmeneli.

Mira Potkonen celebrates her victory over Amy Broadhurst.
Mira Potkonen celebrates her victory over Amy Broadhurst.

IRELAND’S WOMEN’S ELITE World Championships campaign came to a disappointing end on Thursday morning as Dundalk’s Amy Broadhurst and West Cork’s Christina Desmond exited the competition at the quarter-final stage.

The results mean that, for the first time in 14 years, Ireland will depart the women’s Worlds without a medal.

Lightweight Broadhurst — deputising for the injured Kellie Harrington — met a familiar foe in Finland’s Mira Potkonen in her 60kg quarter, but couldn’t end the bogeywoman’s run over Irish fighters — which stems back to her eliminating Katie Taylor from the Rio Olympics.

The Dealgan BC southpaw gave it a good go and landed her fair share of blows — her straight left hand particularly potent — but was beaten on a unanimous decision (30-27 x4, 29-28).

Broadhurst arguably shaded the first round but the veteran Potkonen, who seemingly continues to improve with age even at 38, piled on the pressure in the next two rounds, exhausting her opponent en route to a deserved victory. She guarantees herself at least World Championship bronze upon her progression, and she’s going to take some stopping at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

Cill na Martra welterweight Desmond was also up against it, and also dropped a unanimous decision — 30-27 x2, 29-28 x2 — to Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli at 69kg.

Surmeneli has won World Youth and Junior gold medals at middleweight, European U22 gold twice at the same weight and then once at welterweight, and took European bronze last month. She added at least World Championship bronze to that impressive haul in a competitive but comprehensive win, outmanoeuvring Desmond with fleet footwork and a sharper arsenal.

Desmond had her moments but couldn’t quite seize control of the contest and bag a medal in her first-ever Worlds.

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