| 14.3°C Dublin

olympic champion Kellie Harrington wins Olympic GOLD medal after deafeating Beatriz Ferreira

Close

Kellie Harrington celebrates with their gold medal

Kellie Harrington celebrates with their gold medal

Ireland's Kellie Anne Harrington celebrates winning gold against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira

Ireland's Kellie Anne Harrington celebrates winning gold against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira

Kellie Harrington won her Olympic women's lightweight final bout against Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil at the Kokugikan Arena, Tokyo. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Kellie Harrington won her Olympic women's lightweight final bout against Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil at the Kokugikan Arena, Tokyo. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

/

Kellie Harrington celebrates with their gold medal

Kellie Harrington has won an Olympic gold medal.

She defeated favourite Beatriz Ferreira from Brazil in the lightweight final to become only the third Irish boxer to be crowned Olympic champion.

The five ringside judges all scored the fight in favour of the Irish woman. It mattered little that other observers thoughts otherwise. For once in an Olympic final an Irish boxer had the rub of the green.

The final scorecard reflected how much the judges liked Harrington’s performance. Two scored all three rounds in favour of Harrington (30-27) while the three scored in (29-28) in favour of the underdog, who won the second and third rounds on all the judges’ scorecards.

In truth the fight was far closer than the score cards suggested. Both fighters were in tears when the result was announced. Harrington sank to her knees with the realisation that her life time dream had been achieved. Meanwhile, Ferreira had to be consoled by her irate corner who were convinced she had done enough to secure the verdict.

The victory was a tactical triumph for the Irish coaching team led by Zaur Antia. It was obvious from the first bell that the previous swashbuckling Brazilian was adapting a far more cautious approach and the two fighters stalked each other for most of the opening minute.

Close

Kellie Harrington are her Gold medal win

Kellie Harrington are her Gold medal win

Kellie Harrington are her Gold medal win

The Brazilian finally found her range and appeared to be landing more scoring punches including a big left but limited response from Harrington who kept her distance and adopted her trademark patient approach.

Ferreira raised her hand at the end of the round to indicate she had done enough to claim it and though three of the judges agreed but the Cuban – who had effectively put Harrington into the final – and the Australian official gave the round to the Irish woman.

Round 2 will be analysed for a long, long time by boxing purists. The Brazilian began on the front foot again with Harrington continuing to keep her distance. But crucially Harrington finally got on top in the last seconds and landed two eye-catching shots. Again the Brazilian raised her hand to signify she had won it but all five judges opted for Harrington.

This was the moment that the momentum of the fight changed in favour of Harrington. She had an unassailable 20-18 lead on the cards of the Cuban and Australian judges and the fight was level on the other three.

Now the Brazilian had no option but to come forward and she was consistently picked off by Harrington with a series of stunning shots. Harrington was now at her brilliant best and given how the judging had gone it was absolutely no surprise all five officials gave her the round. It was well deserved.

The 31-year-old Dubliner scooped Ireland’s eleventh Olympic gold medal and their second at these Games with a brilliant performance in the Kokugikan Arena.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

It is the first time ever that Ireland has gold medals in two different sports at the same Olympics.

During the first week of the Games lightweight scullers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy were crowned champions as well.

At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles Pat O’Callaghan (hammer) and Bob Tisdall (400m hurdles) won gold medals.

So, Ireland brings home four medals from the Tokyo Games, two gold and two bronze. But none will be celebrated as much as Harrington’s success as she has stolen the nation’s heart with her performances inside the ring and her interviews outside of it.

It was the classic final with the Harrington the 2018 World champion facing the 2019 title holder who had only ever lost six fights since bursting onto the international stage in 2017. But when it matters most Harrington proved that she is the best lightweight in the world.

Amazingly two Irish boxers have now won two of the three Olympic finals in the women’s lightweight division. Katie Taylor securing gold in London and now Harrington becoming champion in the same weight division nine years later.

So 29 years to the day since Michael Carruth won Ireland’s first ever gold medal at the Bacelona Olympics, Kellie Harrington has equalled that achievement. Let the celebrations begin.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy