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GOING FOR GOLD Kellie Harrington and Michaela Walsh to box for gold at Olympic qualifiers in Paris

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Kellie Harrington claimed the gold medal in the European Boxing Olympic qualifying event

Kellie Harrington claimed the gold medal in the European Boxing Olympic qualifying event

Michaela Walsh is going for gold in Paris. Photo by Sportsfile

Michaela Walsh is going for gold in Paris. Photo by Sportsfile

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Kellie Harrington claimed the gold medal in the European Boxing Olympic qualifying event

By Sean McGoldrick



Ireland’s Kellie Harrington and Michaela Walsh will box for gold on Tuesday at the European Olympics qualifiers in Paris.

The pair who had already secured their Olympic slots at next month’s Games won their respective semi-finals at feather and light weight on Monday.

The 2018 World champion Harrington cruised to a unanimous 5-0 win over Turkish lightweight Esra Yidiz, even if four of the judges contrived to give the first round to the Turk.

Harrington may have seen the judges’ scorecards because she bounced from her corner and landed some huge shots at the start of the second stanza and was in complete control thereafter, switching stances in the final round. All five judges scored the last two rounds in her favour.

The Dubliner will now meet 20-year British lightweight Caroline Dubois in what promises to be a fascinating final on Tuesday. Dubois, whose older brother is a professional boxer, has said she also plans to go professional after the Olympics.

She had a unanimous 5-0 win over the number one seed and Rio bronze medallist Mira Potkonen in the first round. It will be fascinating to see how the vastly more experienced Harrington, who is the No 2 seed, will handle her challenge.

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Michaela Walsh is going for gold in Paris. Photo by Sportsfile

Michaela Walsh is going for gold in Paris. Photo by Sportsfile

Michaela Walsh is going for gold in Paris. Photo by Sportsfile

Meanwhile Walsh won by a whisker on a majority 3-2 decision against Stanimia Petrova from Bulgaria.

A two-time Commonwealth silver medallist, her fight was tactical and in fairest to the judges difficult to score. But the 28-year old Belfast fighter got the nod.

She meets Italian Irma Testa in the gold medal fight. Testa knocked out the number one seek Ludmila Vorontsova from Russia in the first round.

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She was no joy, however, for middleweight Aoife O’Rourke who suffered a unanimous 5-0 loss to World champion Lauren Price from Wales who is boxing on the GB team. The Roscommon fighter comes home with a bronze medal and a place at the Tokyo Games.

Welterweight Aidan Walsh also lost to the number one seed Pat McCormack from GB in his semi-final. But the Belfast fighter achieved his goal in Paris and qualified for the Olympics and he also secured a bronze medal.

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