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Olympic diary: Kurt Walker shocks top seed as Rebecca Shorten denied rowing bronze and Kirsty Hegarty in contention for final place


It was a great day at the Olympics for Kurt Walker (right), while Rebecca Shorten (top left) lost out in the race for a medal and Kirsty Hegarty (bottom left) kept her own hopes alive. Pics: Getty Images

It was a great day at the Olympics for Kurt Walker (right), while Rebecca Shorten (top left) lost out in the race for a medal and Kirsty Hegarty (bottom left) kept her own hopes alive. Pics: Getty Images

It was a great day at the Olympics for Kurt Walker (right), while Rebecca Shorten (top left) lost out in the race for a medal and Kirsty Hegarty (bottom left) kept her own hopes alive. Pics: Getty Images

It’s been a busy day for Northern Irish competitors in Tokyo with boxer Kurt Walker leading the way.

There has also been archery, hockey, rowing and shooting going on. Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s action:

Boxing: Kurt Walker shocks the number one seed

Kurt Walker has fashioned a stunning upset at the Tokyo Olympics outpointing world featherweight champion Miriazizbek Mirzakhalilov from Uzbekistan in a last 16 contest.

The Lisburn fighter, competing for Ireland, now advances to Sunday’s quarter-final against US featherweight Ragan Duke, who is coached by Ireland's Billy Walsh, where he will be fighting for a bronze medal. That bout is scheduled to get under way at 3.30am BST.

“Indescribable,” was how Walker reacted to the win, though he did maintain after his first round victory on Saturday that he wasn’t in the least fazed at the prospects of meeting the highly rated Mirzakhalilov.

“I just need to get my head level again and try and relax and recover but I am buzzing.”

Belfast’s Aidan Walsh is also one win away from a medal as he takes on Merven Clair in his quarter-final on Friday at 4.51am BST.

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Rowing: Rebecca Shorten denied a medal by Ireland as fellow NI duo look ahead

There was joy for Ireland overnight as the women’s four scooped the nation’s first medal of the games.

However, that came at the expense of Belfast rower Rebecca Shorten, who was part of the GB team that was pipped to that bronze by 1.06 seconds, having been in a podium position for much of the race.

“We have not really been together for that long so I think we should be really proud of that performance,” said Shorten’s team-mate Karen Bennett.

“It is just really frustrating and gutting, that our performance was only good enough for fourth rather than third.”

Meanwhile, there was a degree of retribution for Coleraine’s Hannah Scott and the Team GB women’s quad scullers who took a dominant victory in the B final, meaning seventh place overall.

Aughnacloy’s Rebecca Edwards was part of a Women’s eight team whose campaign ended with a fifth place finish in the repechage, one place and eight seconds off qualification for the final.

And Banbridge’s Philip Doyle is also done for this Games as he and Ireland partner Ronan Doyle finished fourth in the men’s double sculls B final for 10th place overall.

Shooting: Kirsty Hegarty in contention for final place

Craigavon’s Kirsty Hegarty has kept herself in contention for a place in the final after day one of the women’s trap qualification.

She will be back in action tomorrow at 1am for the last two of five rounds of shooting ahead of the final later the same day. 

After the first three rounds, Hegarty has a score of 71, just one off the top six places that will progress to the final, which is set for 10.30am BST tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Having won a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships and a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Hegarty is well used to shooting in high pressure situations and will be relishing tomorrow’s opportunity.

Archery: Patrick Huston’s Olympics ended by Archery’s Neymar

Belfast’s Patrick Huston’s Olympic campaign over thanks to the Brazilian dubbed ‘Archery’s Neymar’.

Huston was beaten 7-1 in the men’s individual 1/32 eliminations by Marcus D’Almeida.

It took a ten with D’Almeida’s final arrow to halve the opening set but he didn’t look back from that point on, shooting highly impressive set scores of 27 in all of the remaining three sets.

Huston was also part of the mixed and men’s teams that both lost out in the quarter-finals over the weekend.

Hockey: Defeat for Ireland women at the hands of Germany

All five Northern Irish players were involved as Ireland produced a big second half comeback but were just held at bay by Germany, who won 4-2 overnight.

Katie Mullan, Ayeisha McFerran and Zara Malseed all started the game with Shirley McCay and Lizzie Holden coming on as subs.

The result doesn’t end Ireland’s hopes of a quarter-final spot. In fact, if they manage to see off India in their next outing on Friday (pass-back 3.45am BST), that will be enough to rubber-stamp their last eight spot providing South Africa haven’t sprung an almighty upset against Germany earlier in the day.

Ireland will then play their final pool game against Great Britain on Saturday (pass-back 12.45pm BST) but will want qualification tied up before that difficult encounter.

In a match packed full of incident, Germany – recently installed at second in the world – led 3-0 early in the second courtesy of a double from Lisa Altenburg and one from Cecile Pieper.

But two corner strikes from Lena Tice and Hannah McLoughlin had the Green Army right back in the mix going into the closing stages before a contentious Francisca Hauke goal settled the tie.

“Games against Germany are always quite physical and they’re quite fun too, so I think we enjoyed that game,” Chloe Watkins reflected.

“I think 4-2 is probably not really a fair reflection, we probably deserved a point if I’m honest. One or two things didn’t go our way but I think we played really well and matched them in a lot of areas.”

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