There were mixed fortunes for Ireland’s boxers on a day when the track and field team also got a chance to taste the Olympic atmosphere.
Belfast flyweight Michael Conlan is dreaming of a gold medal and a meeting with Jessica Ennis after kicking off his Olympic campaign with a straight-forward 19-8 win over Ghana’s Duke Micah at ExCeL.
Conlan is relishing his Olympic experience, saying: “Me and Paddy (team-mate Paddy Barnes) have been trying to meet more famous people than each other. We’ve met Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay, and the nicest one of all was Novak Djokovic, who we met at the opening ceremony.
“I’m definitely winning at the moment, but Paddy keeps sneaking off and claiming to meet Jamaican sprinters I’ve never heard of. But I’d really love to meet Jessica Ennis because she’s gorgeous. I’m in love with her.”
However, Wexford welterweight Adam Nolan saw his Olympic campaign brought to an end by Russia’s former world silver medallist Andrey Zamkovoy, who used his strength and class to score a comprehensive 18-9 win.
On the track, Fionnuala Britton competed in the 10,000m final but was no match for winner Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, the African defending her Beijing crown. Britton came in nearly 90 seconds after the victor with a 15th-place finish
Joanne Cuddihy qualified for the semi-finals of the 400 metres. The 28-year-old finished fourth in her heat in 52.09 seconds, but it proved enough to progress.
Cuddihy was still not impressed with her run, though. “The crowd was electric, the best I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “I think I let the occasion get to me.
“I went out fast – that was the plan – and it was only when I got in the home straight that I realised I didn’t have the legs for the finish.”
Ciaran O’Lionard finished only 13th in his 1500m heat which was won by Nicholas Willis of New Zealand, meaning elimination for the Irishman.
Annalise Murphy has lost some of her early momentum in the Laser Radial sailing class and now trails Evi van Acker of Belgium.
Murphy had made a flying start to the competition with early victories.She finished second and tenth in last night’s races and sits second in the standings.
After 10 rounds of the Star class at Weymouth Bay, David Burrows and Peter O’Leary were through to the medal race which they will start in ninth place overall.
Laser sailor James Espey finished 27th in both races seven and eight behind race winners Julio Alsogaray of Uruguay and Australia’s Tom Slingsby respectively.
He lies 38th overall with three races to go and will not make the medal race.
In the 49er class, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern lay 11th overall after race 11.
They had placed 15th in the final race of the day, following an impressive seventh in race 10 and a 14th spot in the day’s opener. Ger Owens and Scott Flanagan are 25th in the 470 category.