Reigning World Champion Kellie Harrington announced her arrival at the 2019 Minsk European Games in style this evening, securing a 4-1 split decision win over Italy’s Irma Testa in the Women’s Lightweight quarter-final bout.
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. Harrington 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.
“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!” Harrington said afterwards. “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.”
There was disappointment for Aoife O’Rourke in her quarter final bout this evening meanwhile 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.
Tomorrow will be another busy day for Team Ireland, with gymnastics and track cycling kicking off their campaign.
Sixty-three athletes are competing across nine sports for Team Ireland at the European Games in Minsk, which run from the 21-30 June.
Women’s Light -60kg Q/F Kellie Harrington (IRL) W Vs Irma Testa 4-1
Women’s Middle 5-0 Q/F Aoife O’Rourke (IRL) Vs Lauren Price (GB) W
*Two bronze medals will be awarded at the Games to the losers of the semi-final bouts.
DAY SEVEN SCHEDULE (IRISH TIME):
*Note the schedule may be subject to change *
08:00 Badminton – Chloe Magee & Sam Magee (IRL) Vs Aliaksei Konakg & Krestina Silich (BLR)
08:00 Canoeing – Jenny Egan Women’s K1 500 B Final
12:00 Canoeing – Jenny Egan Women’s K1 200 B Final
13:00 Cycling – Lydia Boylan, Mia Griffin, Lydia Gurley, Orla Walsh
14:00 Canoeing – Jenny Egan Women’s K1 5000 A Final
14:30 Canoeing – Ronan Foley Men’s K1 5000 A Final
15:30 Cycling Track – Lydia Boylan, Women’s Points Race
18:15 Cycling Track – Felix English, Men’s Scratch Race
TBC Badminton – Nhat Nguyen (IRL) Vs TBC