Sunday 22 September 2019

Antia: Experience key for Harrington

Irish head coach Zaur Antia. Photo: Sportsfile
Irish head coach Zaur Antia. Photo: Sportsfile

Bernard O'Neill

Irish head coach Zaur Antia believes experience and ring craft will see Kellie Harrington through to her second successive World Elite final in New Delhi today.

The 28-year-old Dublin lightweight, a World finalist in 2016 at light-welter, meets Kazakhstan's Karina Ibragimova over three, three-minute rounds in the 60kg semi-final.

Ibragimov has yet to win a national title in her country but in her two ventures outside Central Asia, in Poland and Serbia this year, the 22-year-old secured multi-nation gold.

"Kazakhstan is a big boxing country but Kellie will be ready for this test. Kellie has won three fights here. She has experience in (World) semi-finals," said Antia.

Performance is the key for the St Mary's BC woman, who is guaranteed bronze, according to IABA high-performance director Bernard Dunne.

"Kellie has done exceptionally well so far and we're not thinking of the colour of the medal.

"We're thinking of performance and how to get the best out of her on Thursday," Dunne said.

Significantly, Asia, ahead of the 2019 Worlds and Tokyo 2020 qualifiers in Ulan-Ude, Siberia, have 12 boxers in the last four in New Delhi in the five Olympics weights for women - fly, feather, light, welter and middle.

Europe has six through, and the USA, under former Irish supremo Billy Walsh, two.

Meanwhile, India's Mary Kom, who trained with Team India team in Edenderry, Offaly last May, meets North Korean light fly Mi Kim today looking to surpass Katie Taylor.

Taylor and Kom have claimed five World titles each, but if Kom wins her next two fights she'll become the first woman to win six World Elite gold medals. The finals will be decided on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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