Kellie Harrington won a tense Ireland versus England battle to secure European Championships bronze at least in Budva today.
The Irish star accounted for England’s Shona Whitwell to step onto the lightweight podium and become a two-time European Championships medal winner.
The Olympic Champion, who was fighting for the third time in the tournament, had to navigate an awkward and tricky opponent en route to the semi-finals. Whitwell did poise some problems, but they were problems Irish great Harrington had the solutions for, showing patience and poise early on before finishing the show in style.
The win means Harrington is a two-time European Championships medal winner, who has now won seven major international medals, including Olympic gold.
The victory also increases Ireland’s record-breaking European Championship haul, Harrington, who now fights for silver on Friday, joins Shannon Sweeney, Michaela Walsh, Amy Broadhurst, Christina Desmond and Caitlin Fryers in the semi-finals.
Medal #6 for Ireland at the European Championships – the peerless Kellie Harrington beats Shona Whitwell (Eng) by split decision in the quarters in Montenegro pic.twitter.com/hYPcFJjRCE— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) October 19, 2022
Harrington had to show patience against her taller foe in the first round. For the most part, the Dub waited for the English fighter to attack and looked to counter. It meant both were landing in and around the same time which made it a hard round to score. Ultimately three of the five judges preferred the work of the Olympic Champion and she took a lead into the second session.
Harrington appeared to have figured out her long-limbed foe in the second and used her feet and faints to negate the red corner’s willingness to throw. Landing regular was still an issue but there were flashes of brilliance and natural ability in there that saw the St Mary’s fighter deservedly win the round. Again the judges were split with the second being scored exactly the same as the first.
It meant Harrington only had to avoid disaster in the last to win the quarter-final and another medal. She did a lot more than that, producing her best round against a more willing-to-engage foe, displaying all her class while being serenaded by Molly Malone.
Two more Irish boxers box for medals this evening.
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