There was disappointmment for Michaela Walsh as she lost out to Italy's Irma Testa on a unanimous decision in her last-16 women's 57kg featherweight bout at the Tokyo Olympics.
It was the pair's third meeting this year after a training camp in Belfast and Testa's victory at the European qualifier in Paris.
A 3-2 lead in the first round from Walsh saw her put Testa on the back foot throughout, weaving and ducking out of Testa's left jab reach, and frustrating the Italian throughout to take an edge going into the second. Testa bounced back strong though, and used her height and physical presence to edge ahead going into the last round.
The final round was a must-win in order to keep Walsh’s Olympic dreams alive, but with momentum now with Testa, and despite some superb punches and footwork from Walsh, the judges ruled in favour of the Italian by unanimous decision in the end.
Reflecting on the contest, Walsh told RTÉ Sport: "I felt I was well up in the first round and she came back in the second so it was level going into the last round. I felt it was a great fight but it was her day today.
"She made a big push in the last round, I wish her the best going forward. I hope she goes all the way."
The Belfast boxer has, despite her exit, enjoyed her Olympic experience so far and will now be cheering on the rest of the team, including her brother Aidan.
She said: "It was a great privilige to represent my country - the Olympic Games is something I have always dreamed off. I wanted a medeal, I'll be rooting now for my brother.
"I'll be roaring him on, I still think there will be a few medals coming home to Ireland."
'I felt it was a great fight, but it was her day today... I hope she can go all the way' - A graceful Michaela Walsh reacts to her defeat with @damien_omeara#olympics #tokyo20200 #RTESport— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 26, 2021
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