James McGivern leads the Irish charge for boxing medals in Minsk today

James McGivern leads the Irish charge for boxing medals in Minsk today
Team Ireland boxer James McGivern prepares for competition at the European Games in Minsk at the Sport Ireland Institute in Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ireland’s intense boxing schedule at the European Games in Minsk continues tonight with four in the ring as canoeing makes its bow at the Games, and cycling’s time trial medallists are decided.

There’s also athletics action at the main Dinamo Stadium, as Ireland seek to avoid being knocked out of the DNA team competition.

Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist James McGivern is first into Irish boxing action today at the Urchiche Sports Palace.

The 21-year-old from Belfast - fighting out of St George’s Boxing Club - has a tough task though, as he fights reigning European champion and world bronze-medallist Hovhannes Bachkov of Armenia.

This last-16 contest at light-welterweight is underway at around 1pm Irish time.

Regan Buckley of St Teresa’s BC returns with a light-flyweight quarter-final contest against Spain’s World Series of Boxing competitor Martin Molina (5pm Irish).

European U22 Championships silver-medallist Aoife O’Rourke from Castlerea faces home Belarussian Viktoriya Kebikava in the last-16 of the women’s middleweight at around the same time Buckley is due in the other ring, while Michael Nevin rounds off in the men’s equivalent at approximately 5:45pm as he takes on Turkey’s Serhat Güler, another WSB veteran.

The trapdoor is now open in the team athletics DNA competition.

After failing to make it automatically to tomorrow’s semi-finals, the Irish athletics squad face into a six-way repechage-style quarter-final today at the Dinamo Stadium, where only the top two will progress to the penultimate round (3pm Irish).

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary and Portugal are the other nations involved in Ireland’s match.

Sarah Lavin’s time of 13.36 in finishing second in the women’s 100m hurdles on Sunday was just 0.13 outside her long-standing lifetime best, and provided Ireland’s highest one-off points result at the weekend, along with Stephen Gaffney’s second-place in the men’s 100m – but Ireland may need to win some events today in order to have a strong chance of qualifying for the semis.

Sarah Lavin of Ireland, left, finishes second in the Women's 100m hurdles during Dynamic New Athletics qualification match three at Dinamo Stadium on Day 3 of the Minsk 2019 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Sarah Lavin of Ireland, left, finishes second in the Women's 100m hurdles during Dynamic New Athletics qualification match three at Dinamo Stadium on Day 3 of the Minsk 2019 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Points are awarded on a 12-10-8-6-4-2 basis across men’s and women’s 100m and sprint hurdles, the mixed 4x400m relay, women’s long jump, women’s javelin and men’s high jump.

The field events are run off on a round-robin system of individual one-off head-to-head contests, with each athlete allowed only one attempt.

The points are then converted into staggered time-advantages going into the final event of the contest, “The Hunt”, which solely determines the final places in the overall competition.

Belarus’ 15-point lead on Sunday saw them go off five seconds before everyone else in the 800-600-400-200 relay, but were beaten on the line by the Czech Republic, and only progressed as the opening round’s highest-scoring losers.

Ireland slipped from third to fifth in their opening round contest after falling two places during this final race in Sunday’s opening round, while the Czechs and Belarus went through, having selected a number of European, world and Olympic medallists.

Ryan Mullen and Michael O’Loughlin are flying the flag in the men’s cycling time trial along the streets of Minsk at 11am Irish time.

Canoeing has begun this morning with Ronan Foley and Jenny Egan going in the heats of their respective K1 1000m events.

Egan’s race is at midday Irish time, but Foley has already finished eighth out of nine in his first—round heat, clocking 3:42.397, with the 19-year-old Irishman having a second-chance in the semi-finals.

Maeve Reidy is continuing her women’s recurve individual competition in the knockout round of 64, in a competition that began at 7am Irish time.

After winning his badminton opener yesterday, Ireland’s U17 European champion Nhat Nguyen plays defending European Games champion Pablo Abian of Spain in his second group match in the men’s singles.

Abian also won Mediterrean Games gold last year in Tarragona, at the multi-sport event that takes in 26 nations from Europe and Africa.

Rachael Darragh is seeking a bounceback in the women’s singles against Britain’s Yvonne Li, having lost her first match late last night.

And after their famous comeback win in their mixed doubles debut last night, Chloe and Sam Magee have been beaten in an early-morning encounter today by French pair Delphine Delrue and Thom Gicquel of France in their second group game.

; Team Ireland badminton players Sam Magee and Chloe Magee during training session in preparation for competition at the European Games in Minsk, at Sport Ireland Institute in Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
; Team Ireland badminton players Sam Magee and Chloe Magee during training session in preparation for competition at the European Games in Minsk, at Sport Ireland Institute in Abbotstown, Dublin. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Magee siblings took the first game 22-20, but lost the next two to fall 20-22 21-19 21-16.

The first of the major team sports had medals decided last night.

Russia successfully defended their men’s 3x3 basketball title by beating Latvia 21-14 in the final.

France claimed the women’s crown after a 21-8 victory over Estonia.

Belarus defied both their seeding and the world rankings by winning bronze in both competitions.

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