Boxer Dean Clancy has qualified for the semi-finals of the men’s flyweight category while Lauren Kelly lost in the quarter finals by unbeaten world and junior champion, Anastasia Shamonova. Sophie Meredith has finished tenth in the women’s long jump.
Sligo boxer Dean Clancy won his opening preliminary round of the men’s fly (49-52kg) with a convincing defeat over Algerian Hichem Maouche, booking his place in the semi-finals.
Dean Clancy commented following the fight; “I’m over the moon, it’s great to get the first win out of the way. I’m filled with confidence from the crowd. I enjoyed every bit of it. The first round I was coming in establishing my jab, finding out the type of boxer he is, and from there on, I dominated with my jab, followed up with my backend. The crowds were amazing, I absolutely loved it! I’m into the semis now, he’s going to have a box off with England, I’ll be fighting the winner of that. Who knows, I could be fighting him again if he beats England, but you never know.”
Lauren Kelly was beaten by the number one seed, World and European Champion Anastasiia Shamanova (Russia), in the women’s middleweight (69-75kg) quarter finals. The Kildare based boxer fought an incredible fight against the Russian, who has been unbeaten for six years.
Upbeat after the competition, Kelly said; “I just fought the number one seed, she’s three-time European Champion and three-time World Champion, she hasn’t been beaten in six years. I fought her a few years ago and she stopped me in the third round. I’m actually very proud of myself to get through those three rounds, because honestly, it was a big ask for me to win against her. My aim was to get through those three rounds and be happy with myself. And I’m happy with my performance.”
Kelly was composed throughout the rounds, with her coach encouraging her throughout. Kelly explained he told her “Just to move my feet more, that if I’m going forward I’m going in with the punches, and to try and stand more solid. She’s a very heavy hitter so you need to be up tight on your toes when she does land them shots.”
Sophie Meredith has finished tenth in the women’s long jump following the second stage, with a fantastic 5.78 securing a top ten finish. The Newcastlewest athlete improved her performance significantly in stage two, and was happy with her placing.
Speaking after the competition Sophie said; “Today went really well, I’m quite happy with my performance, 5.78 at this time of the year, I’m very happy with that jump, tenth in the world, I can’t complain. It was a brilliant experience, I’m very happy. I just wanted to enjoy it as much as I could, the crowds were amazing, the stadium was packed. I do a clap for every jump, which is very new to me. I don’t normally do claps but I just got pumped and just tried to enjoy it as much as I could, and it seemed to work. I had a smile on my face for every jump and everything came through.”
Sophie continued; “I was lying tenth coming into this, there was no pressure I just had to enjoy it as much as I could. I knew I wasn’t in with the medals, but that doesn’t matter. I was the underdog and I knew I had to do what I could, and try to better myself for myself.”
In golf, Lauren Crowley Walsh and David Kitt are lying T5 at -5 going into tomorrow’s cumulative play in the mixed teams, just three shots off a medal.
Speaking after today’s foursomes, they were happy with their performances. Dubliner Crowley-Walsh said, “It’s going pretty well the last few days, we are tied fifth going into the last day. It was four-ball yesterday and foursomes today. We played really well both days, in the four ball we got off to a really nice start, we were six under after nine holes which really got our confidence up. Today the foursome was a bit of a harder format but we worked really well as a team.”
David Kitt added; “We had just bogeyed fourteen and fifteen so were a bit annoyed with ourselves, then Lauren did a really nice shot into sixteen and on seventeen I hit a foot, so that was another birdie. Luckily I chipped in on the back of the green, so was a great way to finish, sets us up nicely for tomorrow.”
The evening session of day eight will see Dearbhla Rooney in action in the preliminary round of the women’s featherweight boxing (54-57kg) where she meets USA’s Roma Linda Martinez.
Team Ireland in Buenos Aires comprises of a squad of 16 athletes from 9 sports. The team of 5 male athletes and 11 female athletes includes Nhat Nguyen (Badminton) and Mona McSharry (Swimming), recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships which were awarded to assist with qualification and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This is the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games which are hosted every four years. The Games, running from October 6 to October 18 will feature more than 4,000 talented junior athletes aged 15 to 18 from 200 countries in over 32 sports.