Belfast Telegraph

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Podium is the stuff of dreams for our Gareth


By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland star Gareth McAuley says it’s a “dream come true” to win his country’s second medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Bushmills man hit 45 out of his 50 targets in the men’s skeet to finish third behind champion Georgios Achilleos (Cyprus) and silver medallist Ben Llewellin from Wales.

The medal adds to Rhys McClenaghan’s gold, won on the pommel horse over the weekend, and McAuley is hoping the momentum will keep rolling for his Northern Ireland team-mates.

“It’s unbelievable,” he told the NICWG Facebook page. “I never expected to win a medal. It’s beyond words — a dream come true.

“To say that you’re a Commonwealth Games medallist is unreal. To wake up tomorrow morning with a medal round my neck will be unbelievable.

“That’s two medals Northern Ireland have won but the more the merrier and hopefully this is the start of something special.”

Elsewhere in shooting, David Calvert and Jack Alexander lie in fifth place after the first day of competition in the full bore rifle pairs.

The event continues today with 67-year-old Calvert chasing a fifth Games gold.

Boxers James McGivern and Brendan Irvine advanced to the quarter-finals.

Belfast’s McGivern (20) stopped Emmanuel Ngoma from Zambia in the second round of their lightweight contest at the Oxenford Studios yesterday.

He will be guaranteed at least a bronze medal if he wins his next fight against Jean John Colin from Mauritius.

The Ulster champion, from the St George’s club, won the gold medal at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

Irvine also advanced in the flyweight division with a convincing win against Jabali Breedy of Barbados.

Irvine (21) was awarded the fight by all five judges and will face Rajab Mahommed of Botswana for a place in the semis.

At the aquatic centre, Danielle Hill and Calum Bain both emerged from their heats to compete in their respective semi-finals but could not reach the finals.

Hill finished fourth in her 50m backstroke heat in a time of 29.27 but then placed seventh in her semi-final in 28.86 seconds to finish in 12th place overall.

Bain touched the wall in 22.53 seconds in his 50m freestyle heat and his fifth-place finish also saw him through to the semi-finals, but Jordan Sloan and David Thompson both finished seventh in their respective heats and failed to progress.

Bain (21) also finished fifth in his semi-final but his time of 22.39 seconds was not quick enough to earn a place in today’s final.

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