Boxer Harrington wins gold for Ireland

‘I can’t put it into words’ – Harrington savours Olympic gold medal glory

Irish boxer Kellie Harrington has won an Olympic gold medal after defeating Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s 60kg lightweight final.

She won by a unanimous points decision to become only the second Irish female boxer to win an Olympic medal after Katie Taylor’s gold in London 2012.

The 31-year-old Dubliner came strong in the second two rounds to overcome the reigning world champion.

It was Ireland’s 11th ever Olympic gold medal and their second in Tokyo.

It takes the team’s medal haul at these Games to four – two gold and two bronze.

Harrington’s success on Sunday morning was the third time Ireland have won Olympic boxing gold, with Michael Carruth winning the first one in Barcelona in 1992 before Taylor repeated the success 20 years later.

It was an 18th boxing Olympic medal in total for Ireland, more than half of the 34 medals won in total.

In the men’s marathon, Ireland’s Kevin Seaward was 54th in a season’s best time of two hours 21 minutes 45 seconds. Paul Pollock was 71st of the 76 who finished, also with a season’s best, while Stephen Scullion did not finish.

In cycling, meanwhile, Ireland’s Emily Kay finished 13th in the women’s omnium after being involved in a dramatic crash that included a number of riders.

Number-one seed Harrington, who reached the final after a 3-2 split decision win over Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee, was behind on three of the five judges’ cards after the first round.

However, she grew in confidence after that and won 10-9 on all the judges’ cards in the next two rounds to take gold by a unanimous decision in what became a dominant display.

Ferreira came forward more in what was a tight opening round, but Harrington boxing on the back foot but still landing some good right-hand punches.

The Dubliner brought more variety to her game in round two as she began to get on top with better movement, boosted by a strong right hand that she delivered just seconds after the round got under way.

A strong left-hand punch from Harrington with just over a minute of the fight remaining rocked the Brazilian, before the Irish gold medal winner fell to her knees in the ring in emotional scenes after her victory.

Her gold medal success meant Ireland finished joint 38th in the Tokyo Olympics medal table, alongside Israel, which was their highest medal finish since they came 28th in Atlanta 1996.