Kellie Harrington guarantees Ireland's sixth medal at European Games

Kellie Harrington guarantees Ireland's sixth medal at European Games

The reigning lightweight world champion Kellie Harrington has secured Team Ireland's sixth medal at the European Games in Minsk.

She has beaten the Italian Irma Testa on points in a 4-1 split decision in her quarter-final to secure at least a bronze.

The Dubliner had a long wait to get into the ring, with this evening’s bout being her first of the Games but put in a clinical display to secure Ireland’s sixth medal.

She settled quickly, landing some quick opening blows on Testa to get the match underway, and an interesting battle ensued, as the two edged around each other in the early exchanges.

Harrington soon began to assert herself though, and despite being forced to box off the back foot at stages, some key clean blows and nice combos saw her drive home to a convincing victory.

Kellie Harrington guarantees Ireland's sixth medal at European Games

After the fight, Harrington said: “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.

“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.

"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.

"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.”

However, there was disappointment for Aoife O’Rourke in her quarter-final bout this evening as she lost out against tough opposition in the form of Commonwealth gold medallist and World bronze medallist Lauren Price of Great Britain.

Price was in control from the off, dominating the pace of the bout from the early stages, and denying O’Rourke the opportunity to assert her game plan.

O’Rourke rallied well, pulling off some nice shots, but Price continued to maintain control of the bout and ran out winner on a unanimous decision.

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