GOLD – Amazing Kelly Harrington wins World Championships final


Kelly Harrington has won GOLD for Ireland at AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in New Delhi.

The Dublin lightweight defeated Thai southpaw Sudaporn Seesondee in the Indian capital this afternoon to be crowned WORLD CHAMPION following an absorbing nine minutes.

Ireland’s first and last fighter to step through the ropes in these Championships, Harrington had already posted four wins over Kiwi Troy Garton, home favourite Sarita Devi, Canadian Caroline Veyre, and Kazakh starlet Karina Ibragimova, and claimed a glorious fifth following a tight decider.

Facing a veteran in Seesondee – a bronze medallist at light welter in the 2014 Worlds and a silver medallist at the Asian Games earlier this year – Harrington took a well-deserved 3-2 split-decision win to become Ireland’s third ever amateur world champion and improving on the silver medal she won at light welter in 2016.

It was an extremely cagey start in Delhi, with both probing but landing little. Seesondee landed a pair of straight lefts going into the final minute before both stood momentarily in the pocket with Harrington getting the better of the exchanges but the Asian, who has fought as high as middleweight, looking strong.

Starting well off the jab in the second, Harrington would switch southpaw and was turning off the counter hook to good effect. Seesondee began to up the aggression, landing some but taking a lot more from the St Mary’s puncher, now fighting orthodox, who was putting in an outstanding performance.

Switching throughout the third, Harrington was again on the back foot as Seesondee looked to land long heavy shots while the inner-city Dub was scoring with cute hooks on the inside.

Going to the cards with no certainty whatsoever, a split-decision, naturally, was called and, following the customary long pause, Harrington was declared the winner.

A 3-2 split, the Irishwoman was given a 30-27 and a pair of 29-28s against two 29-28s for Seesondee and, following the initial shock of the announcement, was overcome with emotion.

Harrington now joins Mick Conlan and five-time winner Katie Taylor as Ireland’s only senior amateur world champions.

AIBA WORLD WOMEN’S ELITE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEW DELHI, INDIA
November 16th
Last 32
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Troy Garton (New Zealand) 5-0

November 17th
Last 32
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) beat Gabriela Dimitrova Bulgaria) 3-2
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) beat Lacramiora Perijoc (Romania) 4-1
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat Ekaterina Dynnik (Russia) 4-1
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) beat Ya Chu Yang (Taipei) 5-0

November 18th
Last 16
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Sarita Devi (India) 3-2
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) lost to Noella Perez (Argentina) 2-3

November 19th
Last 16
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Namiki Tukimi (Japan) 2-3
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Alessia Mesiano (Italy) 1-4
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) beat Ani Hovsepyan (Armenia) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to Lauren Price (Wales) 0-5

November 20th
Q/Final
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Caroline Veyre (Canada) 5-0
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Ireland) v Simranjit Baath Kaur (India) 1-3

November 22th
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Karina Ibragimova (Kazakhstan) 5-0

November 22th
60kg Kelly Harrington (Ireland) beat Sudaporn Seesondee (Thailand) 3-2

Irish squad
51kg Ceire Smith (Virginia)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monkstown)
60kg Kelly Harrington (St Mary’s) (GOLD)
64kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan)
69kh Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)

Team manager: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia & Dmitry Dimitruk
Physio: Muireann Harte

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie