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Men's pursuit cycle team clinch NI's first Delhi medal

2010 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Venue: Delhi, India Dates: 3-14 October 2010 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage across BBC TV, radio, online, BBC Red Button, mobile and BBC iPlayer services. Full coverage details here. Full schedule of events here.

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Northern Ireland's first medal of the Delhi Commonwealth Games is claimed by the cycling pursuit team who defeat India to win a bronze medal

The men's cycling pursuit team clinched Northern Ireland's first medal of the Commonwealth Games as they defeated India in Thursday's bronze ride-off.

Martyn Irvine, Sean Downey, David McCann and Philip Lavery were winning Northern Ireland's first cycling medal since Alastair Irvine's bronze in 1990.

Boxer Paddy Barnes won his opening bout but there was disappointed for team-mate Michael Conlon who was beaten.

Portaferry girl Ciara Mageean qualified for the women's 1500 metres final.

Olympic bronze medallist and European champion Barnes defeated Scotland's Iain Butcher 4-2 in a tense opening light-flyweight contest.

The colourful Barnes was far from impressed with his performance and in a Ronnie O'Sullivan-style quip claimed that he finds boxing "boring".

"I only started boxing myself one day because I was bored, and here I am," added Barnes.

"I'm fighting the Australian next and I don't know a thing about him. I'm not really bothered. I just put pressure on myself to perform."

However in another breath, Barnes insisted that he is aiming to win gold.

I think I did enough. The scoring is terrible

Defeated NI boxer Michael Conlon

"It was a tough fight and he made it hard for me but it was all about getting the fight fight out of my system.

"I need to improve if I'm going to take gold."

Flyweight Conlon suffered a heartbreaking countback defeat against Australia's Jason Maloney after the bout had ended 10-10.

Conlon clawed back an early deficit in an all-action contest and briefly held the lead in the final round before Moloney levelled the scores with seconds to go.

The 18-year-old, who was cheered from the arena by the Indian crowd, was close to tears when he said: "I think I did enough. The scoring is terrible. I'm going to come back harder, faster and stronger because of this."

Portaferry athlete Mageean was the fastest loser from the two heats after clocking her second best ever time of 4:12.11.

While Mageean's fifth place finish saw her qualify for Friday's final, Kelly McNeice exited after finishing fifth in her heat in 4:18.07.

Mageean's run again showed the world junior silver medallist's pedigree.

She looked to be struggling at the start of the final lap and dropped to seventh place at one point but the 18-year-old produced a late finishing burst to qualify for the final on her senior major championship debut.

Kenya's Viola Kibiwott won Mageean's heat in 4:08.76 while her compatriot Olympic champion Nancy Langat lead the qualifier involving McNeice.

McNeice, a 1500m finalist in Manchester eight years ago, has been bothered by an Achilles injury in the build-up to the Delhi Games and after leading early on, she dropped off the pace on the closing lap.

Amy Foster produced a season's best of 11.61 as she finished fifth in her 100m semi-final but it wasn't enough to progress to the final.

However, it was an encouraging performance by Foster ahead of her 200m challenge.

Joanna Mills finished eighth and last in her 400m semi-final in 55.68 - .22secs slower than her heat time on Wednesday.

Mills will be in action later in the Games in the 4x400m relay.

Tom Reynolds started impressively in the Decathlon as he set a 100m personal best of 11.15 and he was in ninth place after three events.

Ciara Mageean (left) with Scotland's Stephanie Twell
Ciara Mageean (left) ran bravely to qualify for Friday's 1500m final

Northern Ireland had a good morning in the swimming pool in Delhi with Sycerika McMahon, Chelsey Wilson and Michael Dawson all making afternoon semi-finals but the trio were unable to progress further.

Fifteen-year-old McMahon clocked 1:11:58 to improve on her morning swim (1:12.22) in the 100m breaststroke but she missed out on a place in the final by .77secs.

Michael Dawson clocked 29.53 in his 50m breaststroke, .17 slower than his morning swim, and finished 11th overall.

Enniskillen swimmer Wilson clocked 31.60 to squeeze into the 50m backstroke semi-finals as 16th qualifier and then improved to 31.24 in the afternoon.

Derry's Ryan Harrison has had to withdraw from the Games because of illness.

He had been affected by tonsillitis leading up to the competition and was well below par in Tuesday's 200m freestyle heats.

Northern Ireland duo Robert Doak and Hugh Stewart finished a creditable fifth in the Air Pistol shooting final while gymnast Seriena Johnrose was eighth in the vault final.

In bowls, the women's pair of Donna McCloy and her partner Jennifer Dowds beat South Africa 2-0 while the men's triple defeated Norfolk Island.

The ladies table tennis team defeated Sri Lanka 3-1 which set up a 9th/10th place match against Wales.

In cycling, Heather Wilson was 13th in the 10K scratch race.



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Comment and analysis

Rebecca Adlinton showcases her gold medal - and painted nails Highs and lows from Delhi
Tom Fordyce picks some of the best moments and biggest characters

India's relay stars Will India secure Games legacy?
What India needs to do to build on sporting foundations

AP India on track
Matthew Pinsent hopes India emerges as a sporting powerhouse


see also
Perry loses in squash last eight
06 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
N Ireland Commonwealths - Day Two
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Brave McMahon edged out in semi
04 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Bree insists best 'still to come'
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
NI hopefuls begin Delhi challenge
03 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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