The Irish Elite squad recorded a comfortable 9-3 victory over the China Elite team at a sold out Brandon Hotel in Newross, Wexford tonight.
World Senior and Youth champions and Irish Elite champions Katie Taylor and Joe Ward both had their hands raised in triumph.
Irish Elite champions Michael Conlon, Michael McDonagh, Katie Rowland, Sinead Kavanagh, John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill and Patrick Corcoran also helped Ireland to an impressive win.
Taylor, boxing for the second time in 24 hours -she beat Spain’s Maria del Carman Moreno at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin last night – beat Cheng Dong 6-2 in a repeat of the 2008 and 2010 AIBA World lightweight finals which the Bray woman won in China and Barbados.
Ward, the current AIBA World Youth champion, forced Fanlong Meng into a standing count in the third en route to a 9-2 victory.
Belfast flyweight Conlon ensured that Ireland hit the ground running with an impressive 15-4 verdict over Yong Chang in the opening bout of the evening.
McDonagh followed that up with a 2-0 win over Qiang Lio, followed by victory for European Youth silver medalist Katie Rowland.
China, who finished in number one spot in the medals table at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, pulled one back after Drimnagh super-heavyweight Sean Turner – who produced one of the performances of the evening – was edged out on a double countback by 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zhilei Zaifula.
However, Cavan bantamweight John Joe Nevin got Ireland back to winning ways with a classy 7-1 win over Hongliang Zhang.
European silver medalist Darren O’Neill had three points to spare over Jianting Zhang in the middleweight class. That victory opened up an unassailable 7-1 lead for the hosts.
Niall Murray, a late replacement for Elite champ Ross Hickey, and Karl Brabazon both lost out to Richabilige Hu and Qiong Maimaitituersun in the light-welterweight and welterweight categories.
Galway heavyweight Patrick Corcoran sealed an impressive win for the hosts with a 7-4 decision over Maimaiti Zaifula in the final bout of the evening.
Both nations will meet again at the Dungarvan Sports Centre on Wednesday night and at the National Stadium in Dublin next Friday.
Ireland v China Brandon Hotel Newross, Wexford March 20th
52Kg: Michael Conlon (St John Bosco) beat Yong Chang (China) 15-4
60Kg: Michael McDonagh (St Mary’s) beat Qiang Luo (China) 2-0
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat Fanlong Meng (China) 9-2
51Kg: Katie Rowland (Geesala) beat Yujie Luo (China) 3-1
91Kg+:Sean Turner (Drimnagh) lost to Zhilei Zaifula (China) 5-5, c/b 10-10, 1-4
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Hongliang Zhang (China) 7-1
75Kg: Sinead Kavanagh (Drimnagh) beat Dongmel Wang (China) 5-2
69Kg: Karl Brabazon (St Saviours) lost to Qiong Maimaitituersun (China) 3-10
64Kg: Niall Murray (Gorey) lost to Richabilige Hu (China) 3-6
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Jianting Zhang (China) 5-2
60Kg: Katie Taylor (Bray) beat Cheng Dong (China) 6-2
91Kg: Patrick Corcoran (Olympic) beat Maimaiti Zaifula (China) 7-4
Athletics: World Cross Country
There was a real carnival atmosphere at the World Cross Country championships in Punta Umbria in Spain today. The Spanish hosts spared nothing in their efforts to make the championships a big success. The glorious sunshine only added to the occasion – at least for those at the venue as spectators.
She was ecstatic at her 16th place finish, saying that she really enjoyed the course, and the hot sunny conditions are her preferred racing conditions
Athletes were shaded somewhat from the intense rays of the sun by the tree lined nature of the course, happy to take any protection offered.
Fionnuala Britton (Sli Cualann AC) got a great start in the senior women’s race and then settled in to a position in the mid-teens. As the race unfolded she never looked like losing her place, but ended up running on her own for a considerable part of the race. “Why does this always seem to happen to me?” she asked after the race, referring to times in the past when she became detached from the main group.
The question that kept going through her mind was “should I try to catch the leading group, or wait for the chasing runners”. She found it hard to get back to the leading group, but there was “no way I was going to wait for the others.”
Team manager Anne Keenan Buckley was high in her praise of Britton’s performance “considering how she had to overcome illness in the weeks leading up to the championships” she said, and added “ I am delighted to see her back to the level that saw her finish 14th when the race was held in Kenya in 2007”
Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiot won the race, leading Kenya to team victory over Ethiopia, with USA third, helped in no small way by Shalene Flanagan’s third place finish.
Double Gold for Sam Magee;
Sam Magee and sister Chloe Magee won gold in the Mixed Doubles in the Banuinvest International in Timisoara in Romania over the weekend.
Sam also won a second gold in the Men’s Doubles with partner Tony Stephenson.