Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Kristina powers up Northern Ireland boxers' fight for success

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland boxers continued to pack a significant punch on the Gold Coast with Kristina O'Hara leading the charge in the medal rush at the Commonwealth Games.

O'Hara is guaranteed a silver after winning her semi-final while Brendan Irvine, Steven Donnelly, Carly McNaul and James McGivern also bagged medals.

Northern Ireland are now guaranteed 10 medals at the Games, with the boxers getting their hands on eight of them.

Light-fly O'Hara was too strong and clever for New Zealand's Tasmyn Benny, earning a unanimous victory, and will face Indian great Mary Kom in Saturday's final.

The tally of 10 medals equals Northern Ireland's third best performance behind the 15 won in Edinburgh in 1986 and 12 in Glasgow four years ago.

Northern Ireland also won 10 medals at Victoria in 1994 and Delhi eight years ago.

Belfast man Irvine secured a 4-1 verdict over Botswana's Rajab Mahommed in a tight flyweight quarter-final.

Four of the judges awarded Irvine a 29-28 verdict with the Botswanan getting the same margin from the other judge.

Middleweight Donnelly eased to a win over Samoa's Henry Tyrell.

Donnelly, who won bronze at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, was given a standing count in the final round of his quarter-final but had already established a commanding lead.

Belfast lightweight McGivern secured another medal for Northern Ireland when he earned a unanimous quarter-final win over dangerous Mauritian Jean John Colin.

After shading the opening round, classy southpaw McGivern produced a few big lefts to force Colin to take a standing count.

Colin attempted to fight back in the final round but McGivern stayed out of trouble to win comprehensively on all five cards.

Women's flyweight McNaul guaranteed herself at least a bronze as she earned a second-round stoppage win over Nigeria's Ayisat Oriyomi.

The Nigerian looked to have won the first round of the quarter-final showdown but then tired and her corner threw in the towel.

Women's lightweight Alanna Nihell was beaten by England's Paige Murney on a 5-0 verdict.

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