Michaela Walsh aiming for a golden finale

Michaela Walsh will medal at a third Commonwealth Games after the Belfast boxer comfortably outpointed Keamogetse Kenosi of Botswana in the featherweight quarter final in Birmingham.

By Ciaran Donaghy
Friday, 5th August 2022, 6:00 am

Walsh’s last eight victory in thek ring, along with wins for her brother Aidan, Dylan Eagleson and Amy Broadhurst yesterday means Northern Ireland have equalled their record medal haul of 15 from Edinburgh 1986.

The win over Kenosi guarantees Walsh a bronze medal to go with the two silvers she won in Glasgow 2014 and the Gold Coast four years later however she wants to top the podium.

“I’m just taking it one fight at a time and I am not thinking about medals yet,” she said.

Michaela Walsh celebrates beating Botswana’s Keamogetse Sadie Kenosi in the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) quarter-final

“I still have two fights to go the whole way but I’m proud of my performance, I listened to my coaches, I did what was needed and I’m so thankful and happy to come away with the win.

“I have come here for one thing (gold medal) and I should have had it a long time ago.

“I have a bit of unfinished with the Commonwealth Games but it is one fight at a time.

“I don’t want to be looking to far ahead and I don’t wat to put too much pressure on myself.

“I’m enjoying the whole competition and it is great to see teammates win medals as well as myself because it is something that they have dreamed of for a very long time, and to be on the same time as them and my brother I’m blessed.”

Walsh had to wait 12 days from arriving in Birmingham until her first bout.

“It has been long and even from the draw I have had over a week to wait but I’m an elite athlete and I know what to do and what not to do,” she said.

“I have been doing all the right things and ticking all the right boxes so I an just glad to get that performance out of the way.”

As well as Walsh, Eireann Nugent, Carly McNaul and Amy Broadhurst are all guaranteed to medal in Birmingham and Walsh feels Women’s Boxing is going from strength to strength.

“The women in our team are phenomenal and I have said it for years everyone is touching world level,” she said.

“Carly and myself finished fifth in the World Championships and Amy won gold and Eireann coming back after over 11 and a half years out, the women are phenomenal and we are really pushing each other on.”

The boxers will return to the ring tomorrow for their semi-final bouts.

Aidan Walsh followed sister Michaela in securing at least a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Olympic bronze medallist Aidan came out on top against England’s European champion Harris Akbar.

“I wasn’t really focused on the score I was focused on the moment and doing what I do best enjoying it, enjoying the momentum and great experience,” stated Aidan.

“You just listen to what the coaches have to say and have complete faith in their abilities. They have known me since I was a kid so for me I just completely trust in them and know what they’re telling me to do is going to work.

“I don’t put emphasis no more on winning gold, if I’m performing the way I’m doing and doing what I’m doing, just listening to the coaches and doing what they’re telling me to do, I’m happy.

“I’m happy to be alive and its been a great road since the Olympics so its good to be back with a bang.”

Dylan Eagleson reached the last four with a 5-0 victory over Armando Sigaque from Mozambique.

Amy Broadhurst the recently crowned world champion guaranteed a seventh medal in the ring with a third round stoppage of Zambia’s Fellistus Nkandu.

Elsewhere, Gary Kelly won two bowls games yesterday to top his singles group and progress to the quarter-finals stage.