Last updated on June 28th, 2023 at 08:42 PM
Another European Games gold medal for 18-year-old archer Penny Healey and quarter-final victories for boxers Charley Davison and Rosie Eccles secured Team GB another three quota places for Paris 2024.
A silver medal for archer Ella Gibson and a bronze for diver Grace Reid added to Team GB’s medal haul for the day.
World number one Penny Healey sailed through to the gold medal match with a convincing 6-0 victory over her Italian opponent in the semis.
She faced off against Spain’s Elia Canales in the final, with a tightly contested first set ending in a tie at 26 points apiece. Healy pulled into the lead with a perfect second round giving her the upper hand, before going on to claim the win 6-2 in four sets. Her first gold medal of the competition came in the women’s recurve team alongside Bryony Pitman and Jess Sagoo.
Reflecting on her victory, Healey said, “It was not easy – I think there was a lot of nerves there and also it’s never easy to play up against an incredible opponent and a friend as well.
“My nan unfortunately passed away before I came out here, so I said to my mum that I’d get the quota spot for her and that I’d win for her and I’ve done that.
“This gold medal means a lot. I’d said I wanted to do my nan proud and I have so I’m really happy.”
In boxing, Rosie Eccles beat Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst in the women’s 66kg quarter-finals to secure a quota place for Paris 2024, while Davison triumphed over Sweden’s Zehra Milli in the 54kg.
Overcome with emotion following her victory, Eccles said, “I’ve got no words. I just thought, after everything that’s happened, this was too good to happen to me. I just kept doing everything, coming back, grinding away and when you want things so bad it feels like it’s just impossible.
“Amy [Broadhurst] is one of the people I admire more than anyone in the boxing world, and she’s been through some rough patches like me. I honestly wish that was the final, it seems cruel that it had to be taken away from one of us.”
On qualifying a quota spot for Paris 2024 alongside Charley Davison, Eccles added, “We room together, we live together, we cry together and now we win together!”
Davison added, “Honestly, I can’t believe it. It’s going to take time to sink in. It means so much more to me. I feel more experienced and believe that I can go to the top.
“It’s my dream to become Olympic champion. I went to Tokyo with little experience, but I’ve banked a lot more since so it’s different now.”
Women’s compound archer Ella Gibson, who set a new World Record of 715 during the qualifying rounds, won silver after a fierce five-set battle in the final went in Italian opponent Elisa Roner’s favour.
Gibson said, “Coming out here and winning a medal is always what you want and it’s great to be able to come to my first European Games and do that.
Obviously, I’m a bit frustrated with how the final went and, of course, not winning gold, but there will be many more opportunities and I know I’ll be on the finals field again.”
And Grace Reid took a last-gasp bronze in the Women’s 1m Springboard, taking Team GB’s total from the diving pool up to seven on the final day of the aquatic sports programme.
While the prospect of a second medal of the Games was in reach for Reid throughout the final, it was on her closing dive that Friday’s Mixed 3m Synchro silver medallist moved into the top three – with 58.50 points awarded for a Forward 2 1/2 Somersaults Pike (105B) to propel Reid towards bronze.
“It’s 100 per cent a nice way to finish with a medal, I think all three of us on the podium are happy that’s the lasting memory of these Games for us,” said Reid.
“I think a few days of recovery is probably needed for everyone, but I think I have plans to back in training on Monday. We can’t stop and sit still so we’ll be back training in no time.”
Meanwhile, in the Men’s 3m Synchro, Ross Haslam and James Heatly narrowly missed out on the podium, finishing in fourth.
In the Men’s triathlon, Barclay Izzard brought himself into contention with a strong bike leg placing him among the lead pack to head onto the run.
The 24-year-old ultimately crossed the line in 9th, half a minute back from Norway’s Vetle Thorn who lifted the finishing tape for gold.