Team Ireland's boxers have won a medal in the boxing at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
Dearbhla Rooney won bronze in the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) Bronze Medal Bout in Buenos Aires, beating the New Zealand boxer Te Mania Rzeka Tai Shelford-Edmonds in a unanimous decision 0:5.
It is Ireland’s fourth ever boxing medal in the competition.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said the Manorhamilton boxer after the competition, “if you told me this time last year, I’d never have believed I’d be on the Youth Olympic team, let alone be coming away with a bronze medal.”
Yesterday Rooney missed out on the gold medal bout, defeated by the eventual champion from Thailand, Panpatchara Somnuek.
Rooney said: “I was heartbroken yesterday after losing in the semis to Thailand, but she’s a very strong girl, she stopped the Slovakian three-time European Champion in the bout before me.
"She also stopped me in the worlds beforehand – so it is a positive I’m up there with the best in the world it just made me come back and win the bronze.”
Seventeen-year-old Rooney from Co. Leitrim has been passionate about boxing since taking it up aged 11.
She said: “I started when I was 11, my brother was going in to do a bit of boxing, so I said I’d go along with him. I picked it up fast and enjoyed the training. I won my first All-Ireland that year.
“Thanks so much to everyone who supported me, there’s so many people, my club coaches, my sponsors, and everyone as well.”
Rooney’s family travelled to watch her compete in Buenos Aires, and after winning her medal Rooney said: “I haven’t really been talking to them yet, but I could hear them definitely, the loudest ones here. Lauren [Kelly] is brilliant at supporting, and so is the rest of the Irish team, a big thank you to them as well.”
Earlier today Dean Clancy finished fourth in the Men’s Fly (49-52kg), following a defeat today by Brazil’s Luiz Gabriel Chalot de Oliviera in the Bronze Medal Bout.
“It didn’t go my way today, but it is what it is, he got the better of me today,” 16-year-old Clancy said after the fight.
“Every fight is valuable experience and he’s two years older than me. He’s the world bronze medallist and I tried my best, but he’s two years ahead of me.”
In between the rounds coach Dmitri Dmitruk offered advice to the Ballinacarrow boxer. The Sligo boxer said: “He just wanted me to establish my jab, and find my range, and try not to rush him. But I got caught up, he’s very good. He’s very sharp.”
Clancy is determined to build on the valuable learning experience he has gained, saying: “To get here is a massive achievement, the whole experience is amazing, this is my first tournament every being with multiple sports.
"I’m sharing my room with a karate person and a golfer – I was never around that before. I learnt a lot – valuable experience, it is what it is. It will push me on to be better, I’m still youth next year.”
The final day at the Youth Olympic Games will see Sean McCarthy Crean from Cork competing in the Men’s Kumite +68kg.