Team Ireland boxer Kellie Harrington will box for gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this coming Sunday as she put in a tough and gritty performance in her semi-final bout against Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand this morning.
The lightweight took the win – and a minimum silver medal – on a 3-2 split decision.
They were neck-and-neck throughout, with Kellie taking a 3-2 edge in the opening two rounds, leaving a big closing round ahead.
Patience was key for Harrington though, and it paid off in the third, as she kept her composure against the tricky southpaw, to maintain her 3-2 lead and take the win.
Kellie has now secured a minimum of an Olympic silver medal for Team Ireland and will box for gold this coming Sunday in the Women’s Light (57-60kg) Olympic final.
“It’s fantastic,” she said afterwards. “Olympic silver medallist. That’s the stuff that people dream about.”
Harrington described the bout as a chess match and says her previous fight with Seesondee at the 2018 AIBA Amateur World Championships was like one too.
“It was patience that was key, I kept my patience and she didn’t. And that’s what won me the fight. The coaches were in the corner telling me, ‘stay patient’ and giving me tactics to throw and it worked.”
Reflecting on how it feels to be through to an Olympic final and have a silver medal secured she added that many have tried to get there, many don’t have what it takes to succeed because they don’t have the willpower, the determination, the focus, the dedication.
“I eat, sleep and breathe boxing. I’ve had heartbreak. I know what it is to fail and I know how hard it is to pick yourself back up after that. This is why I am who I am, and why I am here today – because I’m not afraid of failure. I know what it is. I’m Kellie Harrington. I’m myself and I make my own pathway.”
Kellie will face off against Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil in the Women’s Light Olympic final at 6 am Irish time on Sunday.