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'It is just fantastic. I can't wait to get home'

Kellie Harrington won gold in the lightweight boxing final in Tokyo.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

KELLIE HARRINGTON COULD hardly contain her joy after winning the lightweight boxing final in Tokyo against Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil.

It is the first time Ireland has won two gold medals in two different sports at the same Olympics, coming after rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won the men’s lightweight double sculls.

The Dubliner secured a unanimous decision win over the reigning world champion at the Kokugikan Arena.

Speaking to RTE post-fight, Harrington thanked the country for their support.

“We’re all champions. Anyone who steps in between those ropes, are champions. Every fight has been a tough fight. Every fight has been a gold medal fight.

“It is just fantastic. I just can’t wait to get home. To sit on my couch, to sleep, to rest. I’m absolutely exhausted, to be honest.

“I’m like a fluffy pigeon going around. I’m that grey at this stage! What a journey. It is just fantastic.”

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“There have been times in my career when people say, ‘The whole country is behind you.’ This time, I really, I really feel that the whole country is behind me.

“People might say, ‘that’s pressure. You might feel that you have a big weight on your shoulders.’ I actually really didn’t because I knew no matter what happened out here today, whether it was gold or silver or whatever, I knew I’d made myself proud and I’d made the people of Ireland proud, regardless of the colour of the medal.

“Just being here, putting our little nation on the map. This is the stuff of dreams.”

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