MEDAL ALERT: World Champ Kelly Harrington guarantees bronze at European Games


Kelly Harrington came through a war this evening in Belarus to guarantee yet another bronze medal for Ireland at the European Games.

Thee St Mary’s switch-hitter defeated Italy’s Irma Testa on a split decision in the lightweight quarter finals to guarantee Irish boxing’s sixth medal of the tournament.

Harrington, the number one seed, had been given a bye straight into the quarters and needed just to win here to guarantee a medal – her fifth at a major championships – which she duly did, although not without issue.

Former wonderkid Testa – who she had previously beaten en-route to EU silver in Italy two years ago – and she was provided with a much harsher test by the developing 21-year-old. 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.

Harrington seemed to shade a tight opener and was doing good work raiding from the outside through two but Testa was doing notable damage as she got into range.

The Dubliner began fast in the final round, a session she perhaps needed. Testa was relentless, but a huge backhand right from Harrington dislodged her gumshield with 45 seconds to go, prompting a break and perhaps rubber-stamping a win.

Going to the cards, it was another split decision win and, thankfully, another in Ireand’s favour, with Harrington being confirmed the winner and she is now guaranteed a bronze medal.

The result continued a major day for Irish boxing and is the fourth bronze medal secured over the last few hours following upset, on paper, wins for Grainne Walsh and Michaela Walsh along with another medal for Kurt Walker.

These are in addition to the bronzes guaranteed yesterday by Regan Buckley and Michael Nevin.

There is one more Irish boxer in action today, with Roscommon middleweight Aoife O’Rourke taking on Britain’s Lauren Price.

Irish squad
49kg Regan Buckley (St Teresa’s) (Bronze, at least)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) (Bronze, at least)
57kg Michaela Walsh (Monsktown A) (Bronze, at least)
60kg Kelly Harrington (St Mary’s) (Bronze, at least)
64kg James McGivern (St George’s)
69kg Gráinne Walsh (Spartacus) (Bronze, at least)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard)
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea)
75kg Michael Nevin (Portlaoise) (Bronze, at least)
91kg Tony Browne (St Michael’s Dublin)
91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan, Dmitry Dimitruk

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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: [email protected]