Ireland's Mullen agonisingly finishes one second outside of medal places in time trial

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Ireland’s boxers and badminton teams.

Ireland's Ryan Mullen.
Ireland's Ryan Mullen.
Image: John Walton

TEAM IRELAND NARROWLY missed out on their first medal of this year’s European Games in Minsk after Ryan Mullen finished just one second outside the podium places in this afternoon’s men’s road cycling time trial.

Although Ireland had two excellent finishes in the race – Mullen securing fourth position and Michael O’Loughlin finishing sixth in the 28.6km technical circuit race – the 24-year-old couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“On paper it looked like a really straightforward course,” he told Team Ireland’s official media accounts. “It turned out to be one of the courses you end up to have to keep attacking because there is a lot of recovery in the corners.

That brings down your average a little bit. You get more recovery than you realise. You constantly had to ride over the pace. It turned out to be a really hard effort. I feel like I slightly misjudged it.

“I went a little bit over paced in the first lap and paid for it in the last 10 minutes of the race. I think that showed in the splits.”

He also outlined difficulties in judging his race position during today’s race: “I couldn’t hear anything in the radio.

“For whatever reason it wasn’t really working. I was hearing noise, I wasn’t even hearing any words. I didn’t know where I was. I could see [Nelson] Oliveira just ahead of me and a point in the road where he was coming back opposite me.

“We were neck and neck at times. I figured it was going to be me, him and [Vasil] Kiryienka. I didn’t even see [Jan] Barta’s name on the starting list so fair play.

He popped up, so good for him. They were just better on the day and it must be nice for Kiryienka to win in Belarus. But I’m very pissed off that I came fourth again.”

Source: Team Ireland/SoundCloud

O’Loughlin, meanwhile, said he was satisfied with his performance in Belarus.

“It feels good, I’m really happy with sixth. I wanted a top 10, and in that I thought I’d be ninth or tenth, but to finish sixth and close enough with the top five, I’m pretty overwhelmed with that.

“To have five guys who are on the world tour ahead of me, I’m happy with that.”

‘I’ll take it on the chin’

There was disappointment for Ireland inside the squared circle as highly-rated James McGivern was beaten by 2017 European champion and World medalist, Hovhannes Bachkov.

“I’m tired – that was relentless,” McGivern admitted after his unanimous decision loss to the heavy-handed Armenian.

It was hard to get my game plan going but he’s European champion and this is my first senior elite tournament, so it’s a learning experience.

“I’ll take it on the chin and I’ll go back and learn. I’m just going to go away now, work at it and make it perfect.”

James McGivern Ireland's James McGivern was beaten this afternoon. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Meanwhile, Jenny Egan and Ronan Foley kicked off their canoeing campaigns and qualified for the semi-finals of the Women’s K1 500 and the Men’s K1 1000 respectively.

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Foley, who produced a personal best time of 3:37:385, said: “I’m really happy with how it went. I have the 5k in two days time, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how I can go, and how I can develop myself in both distances in the future years to come.”

Chloe and Johsua Magee face a must-win clash tomorrow after losing out this morning to French Delphine Delrue and Thom Gocquel this morning. They slumped to a 22-20, 19-21, 16-21 defeat.

A win tomorrow would see them through to the quarter-finals.

Nhat Nguyen also needs a win tomorrow against group bottom seed Luke Raber to advance to the last 16 after his 21-19, 20-22, 13-21 defeat to Spaniard Pablo Alves today.

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