Harrington qualifies for the Olympics with a commanding victory

Harrington qualifies for the Olympics with a commanding victory

By Daire Walsh

There was jubilation for Kellie Harrington at the European Olympic qualifiers in Paris after a unanimous women's lightweight quarter-final win over France’s Maiva Hamadouche earned her a spot at the Summer Games in Tokyo.

A member of St Mary’s Boxing Club in Tallaght, the 31-year-old’s star has been on the rise in recent years. A silver medal winner in the light welterweight division at the 2016 World Championships in Astana, she subsequently earned gold as a lightweight in the 2018 edition of the same tournament in New Delhi two years later.

Kellie Harrington 1 002

Kellie Harrington earned a place in the Summer Games in Tokyo 

As well as securing silver medals at the European Union Championships and the European Games in 2017 and 2019 respectively, she claimed bronze at the European Championships in 2018.

Claiming a spot on the plan to the Japanese capital was something she coveted, however, and a dominant display in this last-eight affair ensured that dream has now become a reality.

It is rare for any boxer in the amateur ranks to win a round by more than 10-9, but the Dubliner was given a 10-8 lead by one of the judges at the end of the opening round.

The remaining adjudicators had her just one point in front, but this gave Harrington a clear cushion with just six minutes of the bout remaining.

She was even more emphatic in the second round as she landed a succession of punches to place Hamadouche on the back-foot.

Her opponent did grow into the proceedings, but with all five judges once again giving her the advantage – this time two judges made it 10-8 in her favour – Harrington already had one foot in the Olympics.

Hamadouche made it tricky for her in the final round, closing the gap to a single point on the final scorecard of three of the judges, but Harrington was not to be denied.

This is a big weight off her shoulders and she now has a semi-final to look forward to against Esra Yildiz of Turkey.

Share This