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Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Saturday, 12 June 2010 15:08 UK

GB boxers win three silvers at European Championships

Iain Weaver, Khalid Yafai and Tom Stalker
GB's finalists Weaver, Yafai and Stalker

Great Britain had to settle for three silver medals at the European Championships in Moscow but Belfast's Paddy Barnes won gold for Ireland.

Flyweight Khalid Yafai was beaten 4-1 by Russian Misha Aloyan despite being the aggressor throughout.

Featherweight Iain Weaver was beaten 7-2 by German Denis Makarov, while lightweight Tom Stalker lost 8-4 to experienced Russian Albert Selimov.

Light-flyweight Barnes beat Azerbaijan's Elvin Mamishzade 4-1.

His team-mate Darren O'Neill was beaten 16-7 by Arten Chebotarev of Russia in the middleweight final.

Despite the disappointing ending, it was still GB's best showing at the tournament since 1961, with the team finishing with three silver and two bronze medals (for bantamweights Gamal Yafai and Andew Selby).


Barnes' gold, meanwhile, was his country's first since Paul Griffin in 1991 and Ireland finished second in the medals table behind hosts Russia, with one gold, one silver and three bronze.

British head coach Robert McCracken refused to be too downhearted about his team's final day but was clearly aggrieved by judging that appeared to leave Yafai, in particular, short-changed.

McCracken said: "Khalid was clearly the better boxer and I thought Iain could have had better luck too. But the fact is we have come away from the toughest of tournaments with five medals.

Behind the scenes with Britain's top amateur boxers

"When the disappointment of today is over we'll look back at a great tournament which has proved Great Britain belongs alongside the likes of Russia and Cuba as one of the strongest nations in boxing.

"And the success of some of the young fighters out here - in particular Iain and Gamal - sends out a fantastic message to our development boxers that with work and application they can also make it right to the top."

Birmingham's Yafai, who competed at the Beijing Olympics, appeared to be landing at will with body shots, especially in the final round.

However, the 21-year-old had to wait until the final seconds to register his only point by which time Aloyan, who also beat Khalid in the European junior final three years ago, had victory in the bag.

Bournemouth's Weaver, 20, was undone by the counter-punching skills of Makarov, who pulled away in the final round to take gold.

Liverpool's Stalker, 25, put up a brave fight against Russia's former world and European champion Selimov, recovering from 4-0 down to make it 4-3 before falling away again.

Barnes, an Olympic bronze medallist, boxed a calm and tight fight throughout, building on a 1-0 lead at the end of the first round to go 3-1 up at the end of the second.

Ireland head coach Billy Walsh said: "Paddy is a winner - it's as simple as that.

"He doesn't want to settle for second best and gold is all that he has desperately wanted all along. It's a fantastic achievement and we're all delighted for him."

see also
Three GB boxers reach Euro finals
11 Jun 10 |  Boxing
GB boxers clinch five Euro medals
09 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Weaver & Yafai guaranteed medals
08 Jun 10 |  Boxing
GB boxers off to a flyer at Euros
07 Jun 10 |  Boxing
Campbell misses out on Europeans
20 May 10 |  Boxing
British boxing names podium squad
28 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Ex-pro McCracken to guide GB team
05 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Woodhall trains Olympic hopefuls
27 Jan 10 |  Boxing
British boxing chief Hickey quits
14 Sep 09 |  Boxing
GB fail to claim medals in Milan
09 Sep 09 |  Boxing
Campbell eyes big prize
12 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Campbell earns historic title win
15 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Edwards expresses GB boxing fears
14 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing

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