Kellie Harrington ‘Devastated’ after World Championships blow

Kellie Harrington is ‘devastated’ injury has denied her the chance to compete at the upcoming World Championships.

A nine strong team to contest the Women’s World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, was confirmed by the IABA today, with Harrington a notable absentee.

The Dubliner returned to the ring after winning Olympic gold at the 73 Strandja Memorial Tournament in February, where she won gold, and was on target to compete in Turkey next week. However injury prevents her from fighting for World gold, a medal she won in 2018.

Harrington is devasted she couldn’t travel and revealed a safety-first approach with Paris still the main goal.

Only Ireland’s third Olympic gold boxing medal winner also said a strong team has her support.

“I’m devastated not to be competing at the Worlds. Training was going great, and I know I was the woman to beat in Turkey but– timing is everything, and there just isn’t enough time to heal before boxing starts,” Harrington said.

“I have to prioritise my long-term health and fitness. Qualifying for Paris is still the goal. I’ll be rooting for all our Team Ireland boxers at the Worlds – it’s a strong, skillful team.”

Discussing Harrington’s absence Ireland Head Coach Zauri Antia says “Kellie was preparing so well for these championships. It is very disappointing that she can’t compete, but Kellie is right – her long-term fitness, and qualifying for Paris are the most important things. She will return home to Dublin to rehab her injury and return to training when she is fit again. We are bringing a talented team of boxers to the Women’s World Championships, and I know every Team Ireland boxer has Kellie’s support”.

There is some degree of a fresh look to the selection with under-22 European medal winners Niamh Fay, Kaci Rock and Lisa O’Rourke making their senior international debuts, but there is a core of experienced young talented in the squad.

Olympians Michaela Walsh and Aoife O’Rourke will be big medal hopes as will Amy Broadhurst, who was unlucky not to medal previously, while Shannon Sweeney, Caitlin Fryers and Carly McNaul will all be looking to have good tournaments.

Team Ireland Squad

48kg Shannon Sweeney, St.Anne’ BCs, Mayo

 50kg Caitlin Fryers, Immaculata BC, Belfast

 52kg Carly McNaul, Ormeau Road BC, Belfast

 54kg Niamh Fay, Phoenix of Ballyboughal, Dublin

 57kg: Michaela Walsh: Emerald BC, Belfast

 63kg Amy Broadhurst: St.Bronagh’s  ABC, Rostrevor

 66kg Kaci Rock, Enniskerry BC, Wicklow

70kg Lisa O’Rourke, Olympic BC, Galway

75kg Aoife O’Rourke: Olympic BC, Galway

 Coaches:

Zauri Antia

John Conlan

Eoin Pluck

Noel Burke

Competition Venue:

Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey

Competition Dates:

May 6th to 21st.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com