Sport

Michaela Walsh hoping to make it third time lucky after reaching Birmingham final

Michaela Walsh was to skilful for South African Phiwokuhle Mnguni, with victory sending the west Belfast woman through to a third Commonwealth Games final in-a-row - this time against Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba. Picture by PA
Michaela Walsh was to skilful for South African Phiwokuhle Mnguni, with victory sending the west Belfast woman through to a third Commonwealth Games final in-a-row - this time against Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba. Picture by PA Michaela Walsh was to skilful for South African Phiwokuhle Mnguni, with victory sending the west Belfast woman through to a third Commonwealth Games final in-a-row - this time against Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba. Picture by PA

THE Walsh siblings broke with tradition by staying away from each other’s semi-finals today – but both will be back in the thick of the action on Commonwealth finals day.

Olympic bronze medallist Aidan defeated Welshman Garan Croft earlier in the day, and big sister Michaela joined the party this evening when seeing off tough South African Phiwokuhle Mnguni.

That set up a featherweight final showdown with Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba tomorrow night, as Walsh bids to make it third time lucky after returning from the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games with a silver medal around her neck.

“I feel brilliant - I feel my performance was a lot better than the first day,” said the 29-year-old, who picked up a bump on her left eye courtesy of the Nigerian’s right hand.

“I stuck to the game-plan and everything worked out well. She was a very tough opponent, I knew that coming in when I saw her stopping the girl the other day. She was very strong, obviously caught me a few good shots. I just stuck to the game-plan and everything worked really well.

“I’m just focusing on the here and the now, just enjoying the win. I’m going to back and get ready, see my brother, get a bit of food, do an ice bath. In the past I used to look too much at medals and the outcome of things, where this time I’m really focusing on the journey and being in the moment.

“That seems to be working for me so I’m not going to stop doing that now.”

It is a similar line to that adopted by Aidan throughout, and Michaela – who was in her hotel room during his fight, with the roles reversed tonight – says she has learned lessons in preparation from her subling.

“You just mature as you go on, as an athlete and a person,” added the Emerald ace.

“I’d more look up to Aidan and the way he approaches things – he’d be more cool and calm, I’m a bit… I speak my mind, ready to go. It’s something I’ve developed over the last few years.

“Boxing’s only a sport, obviously everyone here wants to win a gold medal, especially me, I’m not going to lie about that, but I’m in the present moment now, one step at a time.

“Regardless of the outcome, I’m so proud to be in a Commonwealth Games final with my brother. Not many people can say that.

“It is amazing, especially for Aidan with the draw he’s had. He’s had the toughest draw out of everyone and has just beaten the European champion and European silver medallist. He has one more to go but regardless of the result, where we are now is a phenomenal achievement. “Obviously we want to go one step further but for now we are enjoying the wins. I’m just so happy.”

SUNDAY’S FINAL SCHEDULE

50kg: Carly McNaul v Nikhat Zareen (India) – 2.30pm

54kg: Dylan Eagleson v Abraham Mensah (Ghana) – 2.45pm

71kg: Aidan Walsh v Tiago Muxanga (Mozambique) – 3.45pm

60kg: Amy Broadhurst v Gemma Richardson (England) – 4.15pm

57kg: Jude Gallagher v Joseph Commey (Ghana) – 7pm

57kg: Michaela Walsh v Elizabeth Oshoba (Nigeria) – 7.15pm