Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: Kristina O'Hara keen to upgrade to gold after securing another Northern Ireland medal

Fighting fit: Kristina O’Hara is guaranteed at least bronze
Fighting fit: Kristina O’Hara is guaranteed at least bronze

By Graham Luney

Kristina O’Hara will grasp at least a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast but the Northern Ireland competitor is looking for gold.

O’Hara claimed a majority 3-2 decision over Welsh veteran Lynsey Holdaway in the light-flyweight class, guaranteeing her country’s third medal after gymnast Rhys McClenaghan’s stunning golden performance and shooter Gareth McAuley's bronze.

The Australian judge gave the 22-year-old Belfast woman all three rounds but the US judge felt Holdaway won every round.

Crucially for O’Hara, two of the other three judges gave her a 29-28 verdict as she progressed.

“It was a brilliant win,” she said. “I had sparred with the girl two weeks ago and it was quite rough.

“She threw me about and roughed me up and I was panicking but my coaches calmed me down and told me how to beat her.

“I dominated the fight and took her apart.

“I am guaranteed a bronze medal but I’m still not happy with it, I need a gold.

“The build-up was hard because nerves kick in.

“I’d rather fight in the morning rather than wait and watch what you need. My stomach was turning all day.

“The possibilities are endless, I’ll be happy with a gold medal and nothing else.”

Olympian Steven Donnelly eased his way into the quarter-finals of the middleweight division with a comfortable points win over Gibrilla Kanara, forcing the Sierra Leone boxer to take a count en route to an emphatic victory.

There was disappointment, however, for light-welterweight Sean McComb.

He dropped a 4-1 decision against England’s Luke McCormack, who also edged out the Irishman in the European Championships last year.

“I definitely won the first round and the last,” insisted McComb.

Head coach John Conlan, the father of two-time Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, also believes that the Belfast southpaw should have got the nod.

“It was very close, give and take, but Sean’s work was 10 times cleaner in my opinion,” said Conlan.

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