European Games: Hopes high for Irish men's cycling team

European Games: Hopes high for Irish men's cycling team
Mark Downey

A strong Irish team in cycling’s men’s road race could give Team Ireland’s European Games campaign a real kick-start in Minsk today.

World Cup track medallist Mark Downey features alongside Michael O’Loughlin, Robert Jon McCarthy, Ryan Mullen and Matthew Teggart in the 180km dash across Minsk city centre.

Aoife Gormally and Derek Burnett have resumed qualifying in their respective shotgun trap competitions.

Gormally resumes 23rd, Burnett 25th.

It’s another one-day blitz at judo’s Chizhovka Arena, where middleweight Megan Fletcher competes for Ireland in the 70kg event – and she’s already scored a win in the opening round of 32.

32-year-old Fletcher scored a shido, the third most-important hold, while keeping Spain’s Sara Rodriguez scoreless.

Fletcher – born in Reading, currently based at Bath University and who declared for Ireland along with brother Ben last year - next fights Britain’s Olympic bronze-medallist from Rio Sally Conway, who claimed silver at the most recent European Championships.

Regan Buckley and Anthony Browne enter the boxing ring for Ireland for the first time today.

Regan Daly and Anthony Browne enter the boxing ring for Ireland for the first time today at the Uruchie Sports Palace, facing daunting prospects in the opening round.

Daly takes on defending European Games champion Bator Sagaluev of Russia at men’s light-flyweight (49kg) – the Russian is the man who defeated Brendan Irvine in Baku four years ago.

Browne is in heavyweight action against Croatia’s Toni Filipi – a silver-medallist at the European Championships, Mediterranean Games and Youth Olympic Games - around 1:15pm Irish time.

Filipi has also gained valuable experience fighting for the Croatian Knights in the World Series of Boxing.

Ireland's athletics team enter the fray this afternoon, competing against Belarus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in the first-round of the inaugural Dynamic New Athletics competition specially-created by European Athletics for the European Games.

The top team in the six-way contest automatically qualifies for Wednesday's semi-finals, with the rest going into a series of repechage quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The best three performers in each of the eight traditional events across the 24 competing nations tomorrow will receive individual medals, but the team prizes will not be determined until Friday.

Ireland’s match gets underway at 3:40pm Irish time.

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