TEAM NI: Michael Conlan through to boxing quarter-finals

Northern Ireland's Michael Conlon
Northern Ireland's Michael Conlon

Boxing star Michael Conlon is through to Wednesday’s quarter finals after beating Indian opponent Shiva Thapa, the world’s number three, in the men’s bantam on Monday.

Conlan said: “That performance wasn’t my best. I was a bit nervous going into that fight. But there is a lot more to come from me,” said Conlon.

But looking ahead to Wednesday, Conlon added: “He tried to come in and be a bit of a roughhouse which doesn’t really work for him. It works more for me. He was quite dirty and rough today so I’m just happy to get the win.

“Our boxing team is inexperienced but we are all in reach of medals. The training and work we have put in has been top notch. It’s been brilliant,

“I’m really happy to get the win today and get that match over me. I believe we can do the business, I think there are medals on our team. Anything else but gold would be a major disappointment for me. Gold’s the only thing I want. Gold’s the thing I’m going to get.”

Conlon sustained a cut to the head in his previous fight but hasn’t let it stop him.

“It’s only a wee cut on the head. I’ve probably had bigger cuts shaving and I don’t even shave!” he joked.

In swimming, Northern Ireland will have two more semi-finalists in Monday night’s evening session bringing the total to 12 with one more day left in the pool.

14 year-old Danielle Hill continues to impress, qualifying 14th fastest with a time of 30.77 in the 50m backstroke. In the same event Bethany Firth was 26th (32.80).

Ards sprinter Curtis Coulter will get another swim in the 50m freestyle after making it through the heats in 16th place in a time of 23.23.

David Thompson 23.79 (21st) and Conor Munn 23.88 (24th) missed out.

In the women’s 200m butterfly Sycerika McMahon was just outside her personal best in finishing 14th overall (2:15.53) with Gemma Kane 17th in 2:18.39.

In athletics Dempsey McGuigan qualifies for tomorrow’s (Tuesday) final after finishing 11th overall in the Men’s hammer with throw of 66.16m in Group A.

“I am over the moon with my performance, it is all due to my coach Alan Bertram who passed away last year. 66.16 metres is my fourth best ever performance and I only wish that Alan was here to see this. I fouled my first throw and a year ago I would have been a nervous wreck trying to qualify with two remaining throws, however, Alan taught me to focus and adapt to such circumstances and it has paid off.”

“I was anxious at the start of the competition particularly as my parents and 5 brothers and sisters are all here to see me. It is just great that everything has worked out well!” said McGuigan.