Tokyo 2020 digest: Boxing disappointment for Kurt Walker and Aidan Walsh

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

Kurt Walker was narrowly beaten by Duke Fagan in the featherweight quarter-finals in Tokyo. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Kurt Walker was narrowly beaten by Duke Fagan in the featherweight quarter-finals in Tokyo. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

It has been a frustrating morning for Team Ireland in the ring in Tokyo, with Kurt Walker and Aidan Walsh both left to rue what might have been. Walker was narrowly beaten in his featherweight quarter-final by Duke Ragan of the USA, the former pro winning 3-2 and securing himself at least a bronze medal. Ian O’Riordan was at Tokyo Kokugikan Arena to see the Lisburn fighter’s agonising defeat, with former Ireland coach Billy Walsh working the American’s corner. Earlier there had been more disappointment as Aidan Walsh was forced to pull out of his welterweight semi-final bout with Britain’s Pat McCormack. Walsh injured ankle ligaments while celebrating his quarter-final victory over Merven Clair - he takes home a bronze medal. Elsewhere Michelle Finn and Eilish Flanagan both fell short in their heats of the 3,000 steeplechase on a sweltering day at the Olympics Stadium.

Elsewhere in Tokyo the gold competition is reaching a thrilling finale, with Rory McIlroy still in the hunt for a medal. Rory Sabbatini - representing Slovakia - is the clubhouse leader on 17 under par after a stunning final round of 61. At the time of writing McIlroy is on 15 under through 17 holes - you can find out the scores HERE on the conclusion of the final round. Later this morning Ireland have Rhys McClenaghan in action in the pommel horse final and Thomas Barr lining out in the first semi-final of the 400m hurdle heats, while the 100m final takes place this afternoon. You can find the day’s schedule HERE.

Tyrone are Ulster champions, after they held off a brave Monaghan challenge to win 0-16 to 0-15 in Croke Park yesterday. Malachy Clerkin was at HQ. Meanwhile in the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals last year’s runners-up Waterford beat Tipperary 4-28 to 2-27 in a bonafide classic at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, while later Cork had too much for Dublin, the Rebels running out 2-26 to 0-24 winners. Today the Leinster SFC final takes centre-stage, with Kildare trying to cause an upset against Dublin (4pm). Can the Dubs be beaten? You can read the thoughts of Jim McGuinness HERE.

And the Lions are heading for a third Test decider in Cape Town next weekend, after they were beaten 27-9 by South Africa in yesterday’s second Test. It was a physical, fraught encounter, with both sides opting to use muscle and the boot throughout. The tourists were outplayed and outfought in the second-half, after reaching the interval with a 9-6 lead, while the Springboks were beneficiaries of some favourable refereeing decisions. You can read Gerry Thornley’s match report HERE. Afterwards, Warren Gatland told his side to prepare for the game of their lives next Saturday: “The players are very disappointed but next Saturday is a cup final and that is how we have to look at it and prepare.”

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