Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Boxing: Two Bronze Medals - At Least!
Belfast's Paddy Barnes has won Ireland’s first medal of these Olympics after beating Lukasck Maszczyk 11-5 in today's light flyweight quarter-final.
The win guarantees Barnes at least a bronze medal. He faces a tough task against home favourite Zou Shiming in Friday's semi-finals (12pm).
Barnes is the lightest member of the Irish team; team captain Kenneth Egan, a light heavyweight (81kg) from the Neilstown club in Clondalkin, Dublin, is the heaviest.
A few hours later, he followed Barnes into the semi-finals with a clinical 8-0 demolition of the Brazilian Washington Silva. Even a non-boxing fan couldn't fail to be impressed by his performance - Egan is the best Irish boxer for years, with eight Irish and four European titles to his credit, and his pure class was obvious.
He clearly has great support - watching on the television, you could hear the Irish fans - cheering every move, singing 'The Fields of Athenry" and then counting down the final seconds - "five, four , three , two, ONE....!!" Magic stuff.
Add to that the excellent commentary by Jimmy Magee in Beijing and the expert analysis by Mick Dowling in the studio, and boxing is playing a blinder at these Games.
Egan now fights Tony Jeffries (GBR) in the first semi-final on Friday (14.01 our time)
In action at the same time as Egan was Paul Hession in the first semi-final of the 200m. He finished a brave fifth in a time of 20.38 - a bit slower than in the previous rounds, but then running three top class level races in two days is a big ask. He did us proud.