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Gold medal hope Harrington ruled out of European Games final with hand injury

The reigning world champion would have faced Mira Potkonen in this morning’s final in Minsk.

KELLIE HARRINGTON WILL not get the chance to compete for a European Games gold medal this afternoon after being ruled out with a hand injury, Team Ireland confirmed in a statement this morning.

Kellie Harrington after her win Ireland's Kellie Harrington. Source: Soenar Chamid/INPHO

The reigning world 60kg champion sustained the injury during her semi-final with Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson and has been deemed unfit to box.

“I’m disappointed to not be competing but I understand that there’s a bigger picture to be taken into account,” she said today in a statement.

It would be too much of a risk to go in there and have another setback. I totally respect the advice of the medical staff and the decision of the Performance Director [Bernard Dunne].

“While I’m disappointed, I’m still going to be there for Kurt [Walker] my teammate, as captain.

It’s been an honour to be captain of this boxing team, and I’m going to be cheering him on and I am can’t wait to watch our team collect their medals, and I will carry my silver medal with pride.

“I’m looking forward to getting home, recovering and getting back at it as soon as possible. We came out here having had a fantastic training camp and were excited about testing ourselves against the best in Europe blocks, and we did that.

“It’s been a fantastic competition for the Irish boxing team and I’m going to continue to trust the team that’s supporting me.”

Dunne added: “It’s been a fantastic competition for Kellie. It’s unfortunate this injury has arisen, but the right decision has been made that she doesn’t compete. It is unfortunate that hand injuries are part and parcel of boxing, but we need to manage it the right way to ensure a quick return to action.

“Kellie has Europeans and Worlds before the year is out and upcoming Olympic qualification events that we are looking forward to.

“In making this decision we had to take in the big picture to ensure that we don’t further injure the hand. Our focus is now on Kurt [Walker].”

Harrington had expertly navigated her way through this week’s semi-final and was highly tipped to land Ireland’s first gold medal of the Games.  She will now be awarded silver.

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