“Not finished yet” – World Champion Kelly Harrington targets Olympic gold


‘We’re not finished yet’ that was the message from Kelly Harrington after her brilliant World Championships success.

The Dublin lightweight followed in the footsteps of Katie Taylor and Micheal Conlan to become Ireland’s third ever senior amateur world champion in New Delhi over the weekend.

Harrington improved on her 2016 silver medal finish at light welter to realise a dream thanks to victory over  Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee. 

However, while she plans to enjoy her success and share it with her community, the 28-year-old admits she wants more.

Harrington habours Olympic ambitions and will now set her sights on Tokyo 2020 success.

“I moved down to 60kg because it’s an Olympic weight and I wanted to succeed at 60. It’s been great so far,” she told RTÉ Sport, referencing her gold in India, European bronze this year, and EU silver last year.

“It’s been years coming. To finally reach my goal is amazing, but we’re not finished yet. We’re aiming for Tokyo.”

“To stand on top of that podium and have our flag raised above my head, it was just so emotional for me, the best feeling ever,” added the St Mary’s stylist who admits the whole experience was somewhat surreal.

“It didn’t feel real. It’s something that I’ve always wanted,” said the Dub who is set to be installed as the World #1 in the next update of the AIBA rankings.

“To finally have it, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s very difficult for any boxer to get to this point… but there’d be no great successes if there were no great losses.”

Harrington, who was welcomed home at Dublin Airport on Sunday and will be honoured at a Civic Reception at 6:00pm this evening on Sean McDermott Street, has forged a reputation as one of the more likable characters in Irish sport.

Dublin 1’s number one is aware she has role model responsibilities and the Portland Row puncher admits she wants to inspire, much like female fight legend Katie Taylor.

“What Katie Taylor did, I’m trying to do it. I’m hoping to encourage girls and be the next role model, try to get the best out of anyone I can. If I can help one person on the way I’ll be happy,” she added.

“Katie has been a great ambassador for the sport and she still is, paving the way in the pro ranks, opening up loads of doors for anybody that’s going to turn over. She’s fantastic,” she added before discussing her continued work at St Vincent’s Hospital on the other side of the city and her strong community links.

“I work every second weekend. Luckily enough for me they are very flexible and they look after me. I’m in this weekend and I’m really looking forward to getting in there and seeing all the patients. That’s what keeps me grounded. They tell me the truth; I like that.”

“We’re a great community, we all stick together through the good times and the bad times. I’m very very proud of where I’m from. I’ll always have the backing of the north east inner city, from everybody around the community and all of Ireland.

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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