Team Ireland boxer Kellie Harrington said that her gold medal win has not kicked in yet for her upon returning home on Tuesday following her victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Harrington defeated Brazil’s Beatriz Fereira by unanimous decision to earn Team Ireland’s second gold medal at Tokyo 2020 and conclude a fantastic run for the 2018 World Amateur Lightweight Champion.
The boxer has not been able to take in her achievement due to sleepless nights after her win and the increase in media attention compared to her World Championship victory.
“I think it will take for me to realize what’s actually going on, it will take me a couple of weeks, to not be around the team, to not be in that environment, to actually realize what has happened, and what I have achieved,” said the Olympic gold medallist.
A large amount of her family and friends greeted Kellie when she returned from New Delhi with gold in 2018 following her win over Olympic semi-final opponent Sudaporn Seesondee.
However, there was a smaller group waiting for her at the airport because of the restrictions in place and a large media presence wanting to hear from her as soon as she touched down.
The media have had a huge interest in Harrington since her victory and the fighter did not get back to her room in Tokyo until 9 pm JST on the day of the fight because of a press conference and an RTÉ interview.
“This is the first time speaking to me Ma and Da [since the win] because I haven’t been ringing people or anything like that because I’m just so exhausted.”
The only person she spoke to before returning home was her partner, Mandy Loughlin, via Bernard Dunne’s phone for only ten minutes.
Harrington hopes to relax for the coming weeks after being on a strict diet since she began preparing for the Olympics.
She is also thinking about getting a replica medal made as the original one already has a scratch on it.
However, Harrington did not seem too bothered about the scratch and the boxer is excited to watch some television, listen to the radio and eat whatever she wants over the coming days.
“I just want to sit down on me sofa, watch some telly, or not watch telly – listen to the radio…It’s gonna be brilliant to just eat whatever I want.”