European Games: Michaela Walsh and Kurt Walker win semi-finals to secure silver medals at least

Michaela Walsh is the third Irish boxer to secure a medal at the European Games
Walsh has won all three of her fights in Minsk by split decisions

Belfast boxer Michaela Walsh and Lisburn's Kurt Walker won their semi-finals on Friday to guarantee at least a silver medal at the European Games.

Featherweight Walsh (26) beat Russian Daria Abramova 3-2 on a split decision to earn a shot at a gold medal in Belarus.

Walsh had lost to Abramova on a split decision at the European Elite Championships in Sofia last June.

Bantamweight Walker defeated Great Britain's Peter McGrail on points.

It was a 3-2 split-decision win for the fourth-seeded Lisburn fighter against the number one seed in a repeat of the 2018 Commonwealth Games final, which McGrail won.

Kurt Walker
Walker won a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Dubliner Kellie Harrington beat Agnes Alexiusson to reach the women's Lightweight final.

Harrington won the fight over the experienced Swede on Friday evening with a unanimous points decision.

Regan Buckley had to settle for a bronze medal after he lost his semi-final to Artur Hovhannisyan in a split decision, while Michael Nevin suffered a knock-out defeat against Italian Salvatore Cavallaro

Galway native Grainne Walsh lost 3-2 to Karolina Koszewska of Poland in her welterweight semi-final.

Michaela Walsh, who won a bronze at the inaugural European Games in 2015, beat world champion Ornella Wahner of Germany 4-1 in her quarter-final earlier in the week to make the last four.

The Belfast boxer, also a two-time Commonwealth silver medallist, will face Bulgarian Stanimira Petrova in Saturday's final at 14:00 BST.

"I'm delighted to get the win. We had a close fight at the Europeans last year but I definitely knew I had won this fight," said Walsh.

"We had a perfect gameplan and I feel I [performed really well. I just have to refocus now and move on to the next one."

Six Irish boxers are assured of taking home medals, having reached Friday's semi-finals.