IRELAND captain Jude Gallagher had to settle for a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Budapest on Tuersday.
The 16-year-old Newtownstewart lad was beaten on a 4-1 split decision by eventual gold medalist, Thailand’s Thitisan Panmod after three close rounds in the 49kg
The judges scorecards were testament to the even nature of the contest with all but one of the officials separating the pair by just one point.
To get to the semi-final stage, Gallagher produced a big performance in the last-eight to record a unanimous decision over PanAmerican Youth silver medallist Rolando Bianchi of Brazil after a similarly straightforward victory over Asian Youth bronze medallist Zhao Renxue of China.
Those victories meant the Two Castles boxer was guaranteed at least a bronze medal in Jungary, which was Ireland’s 22nd medal at this level since 1987.
The Tyrone light flyweight was the seven-strong Ireland men’s squad’s sole medallist after guaranteeing a podium finish on Saturday.
Following those opening two wins, the Newtownstewart fighter came up against the Thai fighter, who is an Asian Youth bronze and silver medallist.
Panmod was expected to be Gallagher’s toughest test yet, given his success at continental level and the fact he progressed to that stage with unanimous decision wins over Filipino and Indian boxers.
Unfortunately for Gallagher, the tightly contested bout went the way of his opponent, but the Sacred Heart College pupil has the consolation of adding a World medal to the European Youth bronze in April along with his seventh, eighth, and ninth Irish titles!
Also, to put his successes this year into perspective, he remains in this age category next year and with the experience gained from everything he has achieved this year, he will again be featuring regularly at the business end of the major tournaments.