20/08/2008

Olympic Medal Bouts Hot Up

There were double celebrations ringside yesterday as a win by Dublin boxer Ken Egan - who now gets ready to face a British fighter in a crucial Olympic medal decider in Beijing - was actually the Irish team's second medal of the day.

Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes first staked his claim to a medal after a quarter-final win over Poland's Lukasz Maszczyk.

The 21-year-old light-flyweight was level with Maszczyk after the first round but pulled clear after three rounds to earn an 11-5 victory.

Barnes is now assured of a bronze medal but he will fight for gold if he beats Zou Shiming in Friday's semi-finals.

It may be tough as Zou Shiming is a Chinese star fighter, world champion, and weight division favourite.
News Image
To crown that Northern Ireland achievement, Dublin's Kenny Egan then secured a second medal after a quarter-final win.

Team Captain Egan gave a big-hitting veteran Washington Silva a lesson in Olympic boxing, guaranteeing the Neilstown southpaw at least a bronze medal as he awaits his fight for silver on Friday.

He will face a GB opponent, Tony Jeffries, who pundits said only scraped into the last eight with a victory against Eleider Alvarez on the countback system.

In counterpoint, Jeffries took his third place match 10 – 2, confidently dispatching Hungary's Imre Szello.

Light flyweight Barnes and light heavyweight Egan are assured at least a bronze medal but will fight for gold if they beat their semi-final opponents on Friday.

(DW)(BMcC)

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