European Games: Michaela Walsh takes silver medal after points defeat in final

Michaela Walsh
Walsh and Petrova fought out a tight contest in Minsk

Belfast boxer Michaela Walsh has been beaten on points by Sanimira Petrova of Bulgaria in the women's featherweight final at the European Games.

The 26-year-old had to settle for a silver medal after a 4-1 split decision loss to the third seed in Belarus.

Walsh had defeated Russian Daria Abramova 3-2 on a split decision in her semi-final on Friday to earn a shot at the gold medal.

She is one of three Irish fighters aiming to win gold over the weekend.

Lisburn's Kurt Walker will take on Mykola Butsenko of Ukraine in the men's bantamweight final on Sunday after defeating Great Britain's Peter McGrail on points in his semi-final on Friday.

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

Dubliner Kellie Harrington is in the women's lightweight final and will go up against the experienced Mira Potkonen of Finland.

"I'm completely heartbroken, I thought I had it but I just have to accept the decision," Walsh said after her defeat.

"It's all about the lead-up to Tokyo so I will just have to get back to the drawing board and move on."

Two of the judges scored the fight 30-27 to Petrova, with two others calling it 29-28, with Russian judge Sergey Krutasov awarding the fight 29-28 to the Monkstown fighter.

In what was a tight contest throughout, both fighters were tentative in the opening round before Walsh came forward a lot more in rounds two and three before the judges awarded the fight to the Bulgarian.

The silver medal won on Saturday in Minsk adds to Walsh's two Commonwealth Games silvers and a European bronze.