TOKYO: Kellie Harrington’s stunning victory in the lightweight boxing final earned Ireland a second gold medal and a fourth overall medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The 31-year-old defeated reigning world champion Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil in a unanimous decision on Sunday morning.
Harrington is the third Irish boxer to earn an Olympic gold medal, after Kate Taylor and Michelle Smith de Bruyne.
The Brazilian fighter won the first round 3-2, putting Harrington on the back foot. However, the Irish woman faced his opponent patiently and gained the support of all five judges in the final round.
Champion Harrington is Ireland’s eleventh all-time gold medallist. This is the first time Ireland has won two gold medals in two different sports at the same Olympics, with rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy also winning gold in the lightweight men’s double sculls.
With this, Team Ireland, which won two gold and two bronze medals, is ranked 37th in the Tokyo Olympics. India has won seven medals, including one gold, two silver, and four bronze, but is ranked 48th.
“There have been times in my career when people say the whole country is behind you. This time I really, really feel the whole country is behind me. It’s just fantastic. I can’t wait to get back home,” said Harrington, who is from Portland Row in Dublin’s north inner city.
President Michael D Higgins congratulated her on Twitter this morning, writing, “My warmest congratulations to Kellie Harrington on winning her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Hers is an exceptional achievement, and she is an inspiration for us all.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “Brilliant fight. Your family community and country overjoyed for you.”
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