Tokyo 2020 digest: Ireland’s medal count rises to three

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ireland’s Aidan Walsh celebrates after winning against Mauritius’ Merven Clair. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Ireland’s Aidan Walsh celebrates after winning against Mauritius’ Merven Clair. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

 

Ireland’s medal count has risen to three overnight after Aidan Walsh saw off Merven Clair to reach the men’s welterweight semi-finals, guaranteeing the Belfast fighter at least bronze. It was another classy performance from Walsh who fully deserved victory and now faces Britain’s Pat McCormack for a place in an Olympic final. All in all it was a successful night in the ring for Ireland as Kellie Harrington also came out on top in her women’s lightweight bout, beating Italian Rebecca Nicoli to book a spot in the quarter-finals. Elsewhere it has also been a good night on the golf course for Ireland with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry both catapulting themselves into medal contention after two rounds. A 66 for McIlroy and a 65 for Lowry moved them both up to seven under and into a tie for fifth. Meanwhile, there was disappointment for the women’s hockey team who lost 1-0 to India while Annalise Murphy failed to make the medal race in the women’s laser radial. In the athletics, Thomas Barr qualified for the 400m hurdles semi-finals but Nadia Power, Louise Shanahan and Síofra Cléirigh Büttner all missed out in their heats for the women’s 800m. For a full catch-up on all of the overnight action you can read our Day 7 round-up from Tokyo.

With the country still basking in the glow of yesterday’s gold medal won by Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, the two lads themselves might be the most chilled out about the whole thing. O’Donovan has always staunchly downplayed his achievements and he did so again yesterday, telling Ian O’Riordan that “people get too excited about it in my opinion. It doesn’t change who you are as a person I think, which is the most important thing. I’m not going to be going around the place thinking I’m better than anybody else around Skibbereen.” In his column this morning Johnny Watterson writes that all of the craic these days is at the Olympic venues in Tokyo. Don’t forget you can keep up to date with all of the Olympics action on our dedicated Tokyo 2020 website.

Moving on to rugby and Gerry Thornley writes this morning that the recent antics of Rassie Erasmus have done rugby a grave disservice. The South African director of rugby yesterday released an hour-long video in which he once again hit out at the Lions and the officiating of last weekend’s first Test. “Is this really the same Erasmus who presided over Munster with such dignity in the aftermath of Anthony Foley’s passing and who spoke so eloquently and movingly at regular intervals in the captivating Chasing the Sun documentary, of which he was very much the heartbeat?” he writes. When asked about the comments yesterday, Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones very much played a straight bat.

To GAA and Jackie Tyrrell writes this morning that loyalty to Liam Sheedy could be Tipperary’s downfall while Aidan O’Shea spoke yesterday about how he felt his season was over due to a knee injury picked up in April.

And finally, there was joy for Bohemians last night as they beat Dudelange to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League while Dundalk will join them there after they saw off Levadia Tallinn with a stoppage time winner.

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