Kellie Harrington gets priorities right ahead of Olympic qualifiers

Kellie Harrington gets priorities right ahead of Olympic qualifiers

While the first set of Olympic boxing qualifiers are just over a month away, you might expect the ins and outs of the tournament to be all-consuming for Kellie Harrington.

But the Dubliner admits she doesn’t “have a clue” about the format and is not concerned for the time being.

“I don’t even look at who is in my weight or how the qualifier works,” she told the Irish Examiner at the National Dairy Council’s Everything Starts with Milk campaign.

“The coaches will just tell me who is up next and that’s it. I am not looking at anything else or who is on the same side of the draw as me, who is seeded one or two. I don’t care.

When you start doing that, your focus is shifted from what is in front of you. I focus literally on what is on in that moment.

“There’s no point worrying about it now because it wastes all your energy. That’s energy I need to be putting into my training sessions and my sleeping. I am not saying the Olympics isn’t the [big] thing but that is how I break it down and I have to do everything like that.”

Her first chance for the 2018 lightweight champion to qualify for Tokyo is in mid-March in London where six places are on offer.

Failing that, another three or four spots will be on the line at the final qualifier in Paris in May.

Harrington had spent the back end of 2019 out of action with a hand injury but any worries it would linger into this year were allayed with her silver medal at the Standja multi-nations tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

“It was just good to get away to test myself and my hand. I didn’t go out there to be a champion or anything.

“It was a multi-nation tournament, a really high standard one which has been going on 71 years so I was just delighted to box in it.

“Mainly, though, it was about sussing out my hand, seeing what it was like in a tournament, throwing it out at all kinds of angles and landing it in different ways.”

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