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Ireland embrace ‘golden girl’ Kellie Harrington with love

DUBLIN: Compliments are pouring in for Ireland’s own Kellie Harrington, who earned the country’s second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Kellie is being embraced by the entire country, especially her own Portland Row in Dublin’s north inner city. The 31-year-old defeated reigning world champion Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil in the lightweight boxing final at the Kokugikan Arena in a unanimous decision on Sunday morning.

A large TV screen was set up near her house to watch the golden achievement live, and around 200 people gathered in front of it. All were anxious and nervous about the result from the start of the match. The first round began at 6 am, and it was not easy for the Irish boxer, who was defeated 3-2. However, Kellie did not give up and faced his opponent patiently and gained the support of all five judges in the final round.

There were worried faces all around the large screen as Kellie lost the first round, but it all turned around as she dominated the final round. All the happy faces turned to look at an emotional Kellie on the big screen and cheered for their ‘daughter’s’ incredible achievement.

Kelly’s family came out of their house in tears – tears of joy. “This is real gold. We had Celtic Tiger fools gold. Kellie is bringing home real gold. That’s what she’s doing,” said Kellie’s brother Christopher. “It’s magnificent. It’s like being in Alice in Wonderland,” he added. Her mother Yvonne was jumping up and down with tears in her eyes.

“She’s done it. When she should go nervous and go stiff and go to ice she loosens up and expresses herself. It’s what she does. She’s the best in the world. Gold,” Kellie’s brother Joel said. Kellie was already a European and world champion, but the Olympics are a whole other level, he added.

Brother Christopher, who is also the manager of a ladies football team in Iceland, said: “This can inspire people to try and achieve for yourself. It’s not just about boxing or sport. It’s about life, anything, it doesn’t matter what it is, writing songs, poetry, ballet. It doesn’t matter,”

Congratulation wishes for the golden girl filled social media as well.

President Michael D Higgins congratulated her on Twitter, 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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