Kellie Harrington’s brother Joel has paid tribute to his Olympic finalist sister after the Dublin woman overcame Thai boxer Sudaporn Seesondee in this morning’s lightweight semi-final in Tokyo.
Speaking after the fight on RTÉ, her brother beamed with pride as car horns blew and neighbours cheered in the Dublin inner-city area of Portland Row.
“She’s just in dreamland. This is for all the times where tears were shed, all the times she sat in the kitchen crying to me da, it’s for her coaches who put endless work into her, it’s for the women on the corner.
“There's not a lot to be happy about at the moment, now there is, now there’s a buzz on the road, now the country is lifted.
“It’s Olympic fever, that’s what this is about. Kellie didn’t get here two weeks ago, Kellie got here 10/12 years ago, it's been a lifetime’s work for her. And she’s getting what she deserves. It’s a relief and it’s nice she’s getting what she deserves.”
Harrington's father Christy added: “Kellie has carried the flag proudly and we’re so proud of her. It’s absolutely priceless, she’s a gem.
“It’s magnificent. We’re all so proud and we love her so much. It’s pure madness. The dog is in shock, never mind us.”
Neighbours called to the Harrington home at 6am to watch the fight, but her mother Yvonne was not among those cheering in front of the TV.
“I was sitting out the back praying as usual. Delighted, just over the moon for her.”