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Kellie Harrington wins Olympic gold after triumph over Beatriz Ferreira

The Irish boxer beat the Brazilian with a unanimous decision victory.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND’S KELLIE HARRINGTON delivered a golden conclusion in Tokyo as she defeated Brazilian fighter Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s lightweight final at the Kokugikan Arena. 

On the final day of the 2020 Games, Harrington ensured Team Ireland went out with a bang. Her tactical masterclass saw her join Michael Carruth and Katie Taylor as the nation’s Olympic gold medalists in boxing.

Her opponent, the reigning world champion, commanded centre ring from the off and demonstrated her immense power immediately. A left hook from Ferreira found the target in the opening minute.

Harrington started on the backfoot but looked comfortable, counterpunching beautifully and utilising her superior footwork to evade trouble. 

The first round was scored 3-2 to the Brazilian. It continued to be razor tight and breathless, with Harrington’s combinations earning her much deserved credit with the judges and frustrating the favourite. 

All five judges scored the second round for the Irish women. Brain continued to trump brawn in the final round. Ferreira swung wildly and was warned for holding. Neither competitor was willing to take a backwards step as the war rose to a fitting crescendo.

The judges’ verdict? Unanimous. A brilliant boxing performance was justly rewarded.

It is the eleventh all-time gold for Ireland and their second at these games, with Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy also securing gold in the lightweight men’s double sculls. 

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President Michael D Higgins sent this message on Twitter this morning in the wake of the win: 

“My warmest congratulations to Kellie Harrington on winning her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Hers is an exceptional achievement, and she is an inspiration for us all.”

About the author:

Maurice Brosnan

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