Sunday 4 December 2016

Harrington: Next time I'll win gold

Bernard O'Neill

Published 28/05/2016 | 02:30

Kellie Harrington is bitterly disappointed after losing to China’s Wenlu Yang on a split decision in the light-welterweight (64kg) final at the Women’s World Championships in Astana Photo by AIBA via Sportsfile
Kellie Harrington is bitterly disappointed after losing to China’s Wenlu Yang on a split decision in the light-welterweight (64kg) final at the Women’s World Championships in Astana Photo by AIBA via Sportsfile

Kellie Harrington has vowed to strike gold next time out following her defeat to China's Yang Wenlu is yesterday's AIBA World Elite Championships 64kg final in Kazakhstan.

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The Dublin light-welterweight dropped a majority decision (40-36, 38-38, 39-37) to the World No 14 after four close rounds.

Harrington and Katie Taylor claimed silver and bronze in Astana - the first time two Irish female boxers finished in podium positions at a World Championships.

Taylor was defeated in the last four by France's Estelle Mossely, who beat Russia's Anastasia Beliakova in yesterday's final. Mossely moves to No 2 in the AIBA World rankings behind Taylor.

Harrington will move into the top five in the rankings in her class.

The Glasnevin BC star said: "Now I'm know I'm up there with the best and all I have to do is keep pushing. I believe because everybody here is making me believe.

"Next time I come here it will be gold that I take home. The silver will push me even further.

"She (Wenlu) is an absolutely fantastic girl, credit to her."

Unfortunately for Irish sport, Harrington's weight is not an Olympic weight; Taylor will be the only Irish female boxer in Rio.

Harrington is hoping that there will be more Olympic weights for women at Tokyo 2020, and she has the backing of the president of the International Boxing Association, Dr CK Wu.

Wu said: "Of course three categories (for women) is not enough. We need to increase the categories. In my mind, at least, we can work for the targeting of 2020 to have five categories, two more."

Grant

Harrington, meantime, reckons her top two finish will grant her, literally, the opportunity to improve as an athlete.

"It means now I'm on funding. I'll be able to train more. I'll be over with the high performance lads, getting more great sparring," said the fifth Irish boxer - after Taylor, Michael Conlan, Joe Ward and Jason Quigley - to reach an AIBA World Elite final.

Kazakhstan, China, USA - coached by ex-Irish head coach Billy Walsh - France, Great Britain and Italy commanded the top six places in the medals table in Astana, with Ireland, Australia and Bulgaria sharing seventh spot.

Team Ireland are due to arrive home from Astana at 9.50am this morning through Dublin Airport.

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