Kellie Harrington came through a three round war to add to add a European Games metal to her extensive medal collection yesterday, but points out there she faced a battle pre her exciting quarterfinal win over Italy’s Irma Testa.
Harrington, the number one seed, had been given a bye straight into the quarters and needed just one win to guarantee a medal – her fifth at a major championships – and the Sheriff Street native duly obliged.
However, the perks of top seeding are not all they are cracked up to be explains the Irish captain.
The St Mary’s BC puncher claims having to wait to get into the ring was a form of ‘mental torture’.
The Dubliner had to wait until Day 6 of the contest to see any action and found it hard watching rather than participating.
“Some people think ‘oh you’re a top seed, it’s great’ but being a top seed you have to wait longer, it’s more mental torture than anything,” the team’s captain explained.
“It felt great to be back in the ring, I haven’t had a fight since February so I’m happy with the performance and I know now that my fitness is there and that will drive me on in the next fight.”
Harrington’s win ensured the team will return to Ireland with six bronze medals at the very least.
It’s an improvement on 2015’s four medal haul and a great achievement for a relatively young team.
The world champion notes it’s also a great boost for Irish sport.
“It’s great to be on the same team where everyone else is medalling – it’s great for Irish boxing and it’s great for Irish sport.”
To reach the semi final Harrington had to defeat former wonderkid Testa – who she had previously beaten en-route to EU silver in Italy two years ago – she was provided with a much harsher test by the developing 21-year-old this time around.
The Naples powerhouse had beaten Moldovan Cristina Cravcenco to get her tournament underway and really put it up to the reigning world champion but Harringotn was just that bit too smart and claimed the win.
“It was a real twitchy fight. It was like a cat and mouse, but I don’t know who the cat was or who the mouse was! I felt like I was landing the cleaner, heavier shots than hers. I felt like I won all three rounds comfortably, so I’m happy with it,” she reflected.