Badminton's Magees and Ireland's track cyclists advance on day seven in Minsk

Badminton's Magees and Ireland's track cyclists advance on day seven in Minsk

Donegal siblings Chloe and Sam Magee are just one match away from securing Ireland's latest medal in Minsk.

They beat Belarus to finish top of their pool in the mixed doubles badminton and will face the Netherlands in tomorrow's quarter-finals.

The Donegal duo recorded a comprehensive win against the Belarus pair of Aliaksei Konakh and Krestina Silich 21-9, 21-5 this morning, but had a nervous wait for the final group game between France and Russia to conclude before their place in the quarter-final was confirmed.

Chloe said: "It was very very tough (to watch) we knew that we had obviously done everything that we could do, so we could just sit and watch, but it was hard to watch the Russian’s versus the French. We knew it was going to be close but happy to be through.’

On the Belarus game this morning Sam said: "We knew what we had to do, we had to win those sets comfortably, I didn’t realise how important the score was until we came off the court, but I think we had the best score against Belarus across all the pairs and that would have stood to us.

"It ended up we didn’t need the points but at a lot of times it looked like we would."

However, Nhat Nguyen exits at the group phase following his defeat today to Britain's Tony Penty.

Badminton's Magees and Ireland's track cyclists advance on day seven in Minsk

Penty was impressive taking the game in two sets 12-21 and 11-21.

A disappointed Nguyen said: "I think he was definitely playing better than me today, I had some close games against him before, today I couldn’t bring my A game and he did."

There was disappointment for Irish canoeist Jenny Egan who finished fourth, just outside the medals, in the A-final of the Women's K-1 5000-metre canoeing.

The Kildare athlete was 29 seconds off the medal places in this afternoon’s race which was her third of the day, having competed in the K1 200 B and K1 500 B finals earlier this morning.

Egan had finished 8th in the B-final of the women's K-1 200-metres.

Dealing with extremely tricky conditions all day as the warm Minsk weather took a turn for the worse, with very high winds and heavy rain.

However, Egan finished out in a time of 25:27.936 to see her placed in fourth spot once more, behind gold medal winner and home crowd hero, Maryna Litvinchuk of Belarus, while Dora Bodonyi of Hungary and Mariana Petrusova of Slovakia took home the silver and bronze medals.

Speaking afterwards, she said:

“To come fourth again, after coming fourth four years ago [in Baku] is tough. But I did my best out there."

“There was thunder and lightning and wind, but you know, everyone had those conditions, everyone had to race in them.

"For me it was probably better as there was less heat, but it was tough, there was a big headwind out there on the home straight. I gave it my all, fourth place is not bad, but it’s just tough when you miss out on the medals again.”

Badminton's Magees and Ireland's track cyclists advance on day seven in Minsk

Ireland’s Ronan Foley had one race this afternoon, also competing in the K1 5000m final. A tough race for the Irish man saw him finish out in a time of 23:16.064 to claim 16th spot.

“It’s a bit of a heartbreaking end to a brilliant week of racing that was full of PBs,” Foley said afterwards.

“I had a good start to today’s race, but it’s a field full of top guys and they’re all A performers out there - they are as good as it gets.”

The track cyclists kicked off their European Games campaign today with the Women’s Team Pursuit competing in the qualifying rounds, where they finished fifth with a time of 4.31.358. They will now move into the next round and have an opportunity to get into the medal ride-offs.

Analysing the results Performance Director Brian Nugent was happy with how the team performed and believes they can go faster in the next round.

He said: “We had a brand new team pursuit out tonight, to be within two seconds of the national record it shows so much excitement for the future.

Badminton's Magees and Ireland's track cyclists advance on day seven in Minsk

"Yes, we could have gone maybe one or two seconds quicker if we hadn’t made tiny errors in the last kilometre, but we can iron them out tomorrow.

"There are two little changes that we can make to knock two seconds off, and we will all be gunning to qualify for the medal ride tomorrow.”

In gymnastics, Adam Steele and Emma Slevin were competing in the qualifying rounds of the All Around event, where they performed well, just outside their personal bests.

In the All Around event, gymnasts compete across six events for men, and four for women, with scores awarded based on the difficulty and execution of the individual routines. At the end of the qualifying rounds, the top 18 gymnasts qualify for the finals, and they also have opportunities to qualify for the finals in the individual disciplines.

Both Steele and Slevin executed clean routines, and were pleased with how they performed.

Steele said: “I’m really happy, one mistake, but you never have a perfect combo. Went really well on the rings, it’s a routine that I’ve been doing for a couple of years now, so I’m happy with it.”

This is not the first multi-sport event for Slevin, she also competed in the Youth Olympics Games last October.

She said: “It was good. Not my best competition, but not my worst either, no major mistakes. I’m really happy with my performance because recently I’ve been struggling with a few injuries, but I managed to pull through and do it so I’m happy.”

Performance Director Sally Johnson was happy that both athletes executed their routines well.

She said: “I’m very pleased with them. They coped very well, paced themselves and they hit the targets we set for them so I’m happy with that.

"They kept themselves pretty contained throughout the competition. Emma contained herself very well, her bars were excellent, one of the best I’ve seen her do them.

"Adam did very well, he did an excellent job on the apparatus, couple of upgrades on the high bar which were excellent, exciting routine to watch and had us on the edge of the seat. I’m very pleased with both of them.”

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