The pride of the north inner city Kellie Harrington, has advanced into quarter-finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo overnight with a clinical display underlining her status as top seed as a lightweight medal contender in boxing.
The very popular Harrington, an AIBA world champion from 2018, had to wait a full week before beginning her campaign, but she appeared fresh and clinical in swatting aside Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli in their last 16 showdown in Tokyo.
The 31-year-old carried out her task to a tee, displaying exceptional movement and in-ring tactical nous to book her last eight date with Algeria’s Imane Khelif on Tuesday.
Harrington won via unanimous decision and is now one win away from securing at the very least, a bronze medal.
Afterwards Harrington spoke to RTÉ, expressing her happiness and relief to finally get into the ring, seven days after sharing the flag bearer duties during the opening ceremony.
”The first one is always the hardest anyway I feel,” said Harrington the St Mary’s BC favourite.”
“I’m glad to get started and underway, I was a bit anxious coming in. Last person to box really. The support from the rest of the team has been amazing, and Brendan (Irvine, Ireland’s team captain) has been keeping the rest of the team going. He’s a true leader in every aspect.”
The assured performer didn’t want to be drawn on potential medals… just yet. ”I haven’t even thought of [winning a medal], just roll on to Tuesday and I’m just fighting for myself, fighting for my own honour and what will be will be.
“If I get a medal that will be great, but as long as I give it everything, as long as I step out of the ring knowing that I have given everything I will be happy.”