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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Irish boxers depart European Juniors with two gold, three silver and eight bronze medals

Ireland finished third out of 31 countries in the medals table.

Image: Anna Moore/IABA

THE IRISH BOXING team will arrive home from the European Junior Boxing Championships tomorrow carrying a record haul of two gold medals, three silvers and eight bronze following a phenomenal showing in Anapa.

Over half of the Irish squad medalled at the continental tournament for fighters aged between 15 and 17, steering Ireland to third place in the overall medals table from 31 countries.

The team are due to arrive in Terminal 1 of Dublin Airport at 12:05pm tomorrow.

It was Tipperary’s Ellie Mai Gartland and Kildare’s Lauren Dempsey who each topped the podium for their country in Russia.

Clonmel BC southpaw Gartland boxed off her front foot and powered past Romania’s Maria Gheorghe en route to a unanimous-decision win at 54kg, while a weight above at 57, Ryston operator Dempsey pulled off a sensational split-decision victory over taller Russian Azalia Aminva to silence the home faithful and take gold.

44288154_2195660787111813_1893444883721486336_n-e1539766911504 Source: Anna Moore/IABA

“It means everything to me,” Gartland told the IABA website.

“It’s a dream come true. I have been training so hard the past year for this moment and I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of my brother/coach Jamie Lonergan and my other coach Martin Fennessy.

“I’d like to thank them for putting the effort into me, training me morning noon and night, helping me make the weight and bringing me sparring.”

Added Dempsey: “To be honest, today was the best day of my life. I worked so hard to get where I am today and I can’t believe it. I have never believed in myself until today.

“I’m so grateful for it and I just can’t believe it, all the hard work that my trainers put into me mentally and physically, I just can’t believe it.

I had three very hard competitions and today was the hardest as she was home girl, but I just dug deep. I really wanted it, so I went for it.

Offaly’s Sinainn Glynn and Roscommon’s Lisa O’Rourke were defeated by German and Polish foes in the 60kg and 75kg showpieces respectively, and so depart with silver. So too does Sligo’s Paddy Myers up at 80kg, who was edged out by an Azerbaijani former European bronze medalist.

Mickes Donoghue, Breda Quilligan, Jon McConnell, Barry O’Connor, Leanne Murphy, Leah Gallen, Kaitlyn Doyle, and Kori Goad all come away with bronze to ensure an all-time high medal haul for Ireland at the European Juniors.

The fighters were cornered by head coach Billy McClean, Liam Cunningham, James Doyle, Brian Barry and Martin Donovan as well as Eve Carr, the 20-year-old from Enniskerry BC who is the IABA’s youngest female coach at international level.

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