Roscommon's O'Rourke claims gold in Poland after all-Midlands final
Roscommon boxer Lisa O'Rourke has won gold at a multi-nations competition in Poland, defeating Offaly's Gráinne Walsh on a split decision in their 66kg final this evening (Saturday).
The 21-year-old Castlerea woman received a bye into the last four of the Leszek Drogosz Memorial tournament, and defeated France's Emilie Sonvico on a unanimous decision in the semi final on Thursday.
Tullamore's Walsh (27) overcame opponents from Slovakia and Poland during the week to set up the all-Irish decider.
Unsurprisingly, there was little to separate these two terrific boxers in the final.
Their contrasting styles were evident - O'Rourke was on her toes constantly, looking to capitalise on her height and reach advantages, while Walsh let fly with explosive bursts of punches.
A sharp right hook from O'Rourke resulted in Walsh receiving a standing count in the second round. In a close final, such a moment always looked like being the tipping point.
So it proved, with the 2-1 split decision going favour of the Castlerea woman.
The 66kg division is one of the weight categories for next summer's Olympic Games, and there is intense competition among the Irish boxers at that weight category, with Walsh, O'Rourke, and Dundalk's Amy Broadhurst all vying for the one place on the plane to Paris.