Kellie Harrington on 'incredible journey' as she reaches Olympic final

olympics
Kellie Harrington On 'Incredible Journey' As She Reaches Olympic Final
Harrington led 3-2 in the judges' count after the first round. Photo: Inpho
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Digital Desk Staff

Kellie Harrington is into the Olympic lightweight boxing final and will fight for a gold medal.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the Dublin woman overcame Thai boxer Sudaporn Seesondee in a tense battle at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Harrington led 3-2 in the judges' count after the first round.

But she struggled in the second round as Seesondee fought back, with two judges ranking the fight level heading into the third.

And after the final three-minute round, Harrington got the 3-2 split decision.

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She will now fight Brazilian Beatriz Ferreira who overcame Finland's Mira Potkonen in today's second semi-final.

The gold medal fight will take place on Sunday morning, on the final day of Olympic action.

Afterwards, Harrington spoke to RTÉ.

"Regardless of the colour of the medal, obviously it’s a massive achievement, but the support of the people back home, to put a smile on the nation's face....

"If I had won here today or not I’d have told them to keep smiling, because it’s still an incredible journey. And I’m just happy to be able to lift all of those people. It’s just great.

"I can’t really believe what’s happening."

Of the fight itself, Harrington admitted he had been a 'chess match'.

"I boxed her in 2018 in the World final and it was a 3-2 split decision. It was a chess match back then and it was a chess match today again.

"She’s a fantastic operator. She has a really strong left-hand, so I was trying not to get hit with that, trying to tease her on, make her throw and then counter.

"I felt a bit more comfortable towards the end, standing instead of running, and it’s fantastic, just brilliant.

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"I haven’t got a clue what done the damage, because I can’t remember what went on in there, but something did the work to win the fight."

Looking ahead to Sunday's final, Harrington said:

"It’s going to bit a massive fight, it’ll be exciting. It’s just going to be what will it be. I'll speak to the coaches, we’ll come up with a plan all together and start to work on that.

"As my brother says, the last mile is never crowded and that’s the way it does feel sometimes. It does feel very lonely but I suppose the difference to be able to hold on in there and keep it going…”

Sunday’s final is slated for a 6am start Irish time.

Her coach John Conlan added: “She's had a great journey. Everything that's happened in her life has brought her to this point and she deserves it."

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