Harrington’s Canary gold

by Karl Graham

KELLIE Harrington is already itching to get back in the ring two weeks on from landing gold at the Boxam Elite tournament in the Canary Islands.
The 27-year-old from Glasnevin scored a unanimous points victory over Romanian Cristina Cosma after receiving a bye straight through to the final.
“It was great tournament. I got straight into the final against the Romanian girl and it was a good fight,” Harrington told GazetteSport. “We had a good few days beforehand training because we knew when we would be fighting as there were not that many women in the tournament.
“I just went out and did the job. Took all the advice from my coaches and enjoyed it. It was a tournament that I could actually enjoy because there wasn’t much pressure on.”
Harrington’s previous fight saw her walk away from the EU Championships in Italy with the lightweight silver medal around her neck. She reached the final on that occasion as well, but missed out on gold after losing a split decision contest with Mira Potkonen.
“It was a 4-1 split decision and I got two counts in the final as well. The first count I shouldn’t have gotten but the second one, I should because I was all over the shop. After the first count my head wasn’t in the game and then I ended up getting the second.
“When I went in, I had a game plan but that went out the window. Everyone has a game plan until they get hit I suppose. I didn’t stick to my plan and I do believe that if I had of done what I was told to do then it could have been a different outcome. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t to be.”
Harrington isn’t the first boxer to have found Potkonen difficult to navigate. Irish icon Katie Taylor was dumped out of the Rio Olympics by the Finn after losing on split decision at the quarter-final stage, but Harrington believes it’s her physical attributes rather than any technical ability that makes her tricky to beat.
“She’s not a great fighter but she’s great at what she does. She’s a brawler, she’s fit and she’s strong. Technically not great at all but what she does is effective.”
Harrington also spoke about how the future of female boxing in Ireland looks bright.
“Irish female boxing is on the up. With the amateurs, we are doing so well. We have a team heading out to the World Championships in India this week. I’m sure the girls on that team are going to bring back some medals. Hopefully some gold ones.
“Even the younger girls, from 11 years of age up, are absolutely amazing. They are so technical and aggressive. When I started, there was no high performance or squad training, but the girls have all that setup now.”

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