KELLIE Harrington took the European gold medal this afternoon, with a unanimous decision over her Czech opponent Lenka Bernardova.
The Dubliner had previously taken silver and bronze at European level, and no doubt completing the set leaves her with a sweet feeling tonight.
Bernardova was remarkably relaxed as she arrived to the ring, laughing and joking until moments before taking on the Olympic champion.
The fight began very cagily, almost half a minute had elapsed before there was any physical contact between the fighters. It proceeded in the same vein for the next two and a half minutes, with both fighters being very reluctant to leave any opening and clearly more concern with defence than with landing scoring blows themselves.
All judges awarded the round to the Irish fighter, and while it was the right decision, it’d be fair to say that her opponent certainly hadn’t been outclassed.
Harrington went on the attack almost from the start of the second, and would dominate the round, with her opponent really offering little by way of response. Again, all judges gave it to the Irish fighter, but this time it was much clearer.
The Olympic champion could see the European gold was now hers to lose, and she would again dominate the third stanza. During those final three minutes she landed some eye catching shots, while there wasn’t that much coming back to trouble her.
One judge did give that last round to the silver medallist, but all the other four saw it Harrington’s way.
While she did start slowly, overall there was no doubt about who the winner was and it’s yet another major title for the supremely talented Harrington.
Team Ireland Squad
48kg: Shannon Sweeney, St. Anne’s, Mayo
50kg: Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast
52kg: Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast
54kg: Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal BC, Dublin
57kg: Michaela Walsh, Emerald BC, Belfast
60kg: Kellie Harrington, St. Mary’s BC, Dublin
63kg: Amy Broadhurst, St. Bronagh’s ABC, Newry
66kg: Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow
70kg: Christina Desmond, Dungarvan BC/Garda BC
75kg: Aoife O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway