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'13 years of blood, sweat and tears': Kellie Harrington returns to Dublin a world champion

The 29-year-old received a civic reception in Dublin on Monday after securing gold in India over the weekend.

Kellie Harrington Harrington secured a gold medal in New Delhi on Saturday. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND’S NEWEST WORLD amateur boxing champion Kelly Harrington returned to a victorious civic reception in Dublin on Monday evening, following her victory in New Delhi on Saturday where she overcame Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee.

The Dubliner received a heroes’ welcome after her success over the weekend, securing lightweight gold at the Women’s Boxing World Championships to join Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan as Ireland’s only amateur world boxing champions.

Harrington was awarded a split-decision in India on Saturday and was awarded the bout 29-28 by three of the five judges. Speaking on Sean McDermott Street, she said that the backing she had received was incredible.

Kellie Harrington is victorious over Sudaporn Seesondee 24/11/2018 Harrington was crowned champion in the Women's Lightweight Division in New Delhi on Saturday. Source: Mandatory Credit - AIBA

“Absoutely amazing,” she said. “The support here off everybody is fantastic. To be able to come back here and give them something to life them up is brilliant. These are my people and these are great people.”

The St Mary’s BC star secured silver at the 2016 World Elites and explained that the difficult journey of highs and lows which led her to last weekend’s gold medal made her success all the more enjoyable.

13 years of blood, sweat and tears and it all amounts to this. It’s great to finally get what I worked my ass off for,” she said.

“There’s been ups, downs, highs, lows, changing boxing clubs — it’s been a bumpy road, a rocky road.

“There were many times when I wanted to stop and quit, but people have pushed me on, and myself I wanted to drive on so everything is worthwhile when I got this [gold medal].”

Following in the footsteps of Katie Taylor, who won gold at the Olympic Games in London, Harrington said that she had her sights set on the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

“I’m aiming for Tokyo but I’m not even thinking about it yet,” she explained. “I like taking small steps and then before I know it I’m actually there and I’m like ‘actually, how did I even get here?’

In the final at the Worlds I was thinking ‘am I actually even here, is this real?’ That’s the way I take it, I just let it flow — that’s the type of person I am.”

Her attention will now turn next to February’s Irish Elites, before next year’s World Men’s and Women’s Championships which will be held in Sochi and Siberia next September and October — both acting as important Olympic qualifiers.

On Monday it was announced by Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring that a new foundation in Harrington’s name would be set up in order to help young boxers in Dublin’s inner city to follow in her footsteps.

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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