Kellie Harrington 'overwhelmed' after claiming Ireland's fourth medal in Tokyo

A win over Imane Khelif guaranteed the Dublin woman a bronze medal.
Kellie Harrington 'overwhelmed' after claiming Ireland's fourth medal in Tokyo

Kellie Harrington said she was "overwhelmed with emotions" after claiming Team Ireland's fourth medal of the Tokyo Games.

The Dublin woman saw off the challenge of Algeria's Imane Khelif to take a win by a unanimous decision in their quarter-final fight.

Speaking to RTÉ after the bout, Harrington said: "You think of getting here and I never think of getting medals.

"Sometimes I think I'm lucky. I can't be that lucky to be winning all these things and end up here with a bronze medal in my bag from the Olympic Games."

Harrington thanked Zaur Antia and John Conlan in addition to the Irish high performance team, adding: "Everything I've achieved I owe to Noel Burke, who is my club coach at home."

"Not only this, I owe it to my teammates, as well, for all the sparring and the preparation and support that they've given me out here - and we give each other - it's just been fantastic.

"And the support that I'm getting from the community back home - I've heard that it's lit back home," she said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin took to Twitter this morning to praise the Lightweight boxer, saying she has "created another piece of history in the boxing ring".

Commenting on this morning's fight, Harrington accepted it was not "an amazing fight", but added: "It was a fight that I won - I did enough to win it."

"I'm just so happy and my emotions really come out when it comes to this. To be able to give [Ireland] something to be happy about and to sing and dance," the 31-year-old said.

Harrington will now face Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in the semi-final on Thursday, with the winner guaranteed a silver medal.

Reaction

Back at home, Harrington's family said they are "absolutely buzzing" after her win.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, her brother Joel said he was "kind of at a loss for words". He added Kellie's approach will likely not have changed from other tournaments, taking it "fight by fight".

"I don't think this is any different for her - one thing I think she's keen to not do is look too far ahead.

"She's got a really tough fight next - I believe it's against the girl she fought in the final of the World's in 2018 - so it's a really tough fight."

Joel added his sister was "over the moon" following her opening fight against Italy's Rebecca Nicoli. "I think Kellie's main priority is bringing a bit of positivity to the area and she's certainly done that. The area is absolutely bouncing this morning," he said.

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