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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Mira Potkonen glances towards Kellie Harrington as she's announced the winner.
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Harrington edged by rival Potkonen in Strandja decider
The Dubliner didn’t appear impressed by the decision, but could well meet Potkonen again for higher stakes as the year progresses.

KELLIE HARRINGTON WILL leave the Strandja Multi-Nations tournament in Bulgaria with a silver medal after being edged out on a split decision by rival Mira Potkonen in the lightweight (60kg) decider.

Harrington appeared to control most of what was at times a cagey affair between arguably the world’s top two fighters at the weight, shading the majority of exchanges, but a strong finish by Potkonen as the 2018 world champion wilted ever so slightly may have tipped the scales in her favour.

The 38-year-old Potkonen immediately glanced toward Harrington as the decision was announced, and though the pair embraced, the 30-year-old Dubliner gestured as if to say ‘I’m number one’ as she exited the ring to applause.

This was Harrington’s first tournament in seven months after she underwent surgery on her right thumb last summer. The injury ruled her out of a European Games final with the Heinävesi native, who has become the scourge of Irish boxing over the last four years.

Harrington and Potkonen have met three times since the latter eliminated Katie Taylor from the 2016 Olympics, with Potkonen winning all three. Potkonen has also beaten Amy Broadhurst three times over the last 12 months, including on her way to the Strandja final earlier this week.

Harrington, however, has performed increasingly better against the veteran great per fight, and could argue she won the last two.

They may well meet again either during qualification for the Tokyo Olympics or indeed at the Games this summer.

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