Stunning Kellie Harrington secures quarter-final place

Light welterweight earns unanimous decision over German champion Cindy Rogge

Kellie Harrington pictured with other members of the IABA High Performance squad. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Kellie Harrington pictured with other members of the IABA High Performance squad. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Kellie Harrington is fast becoming one of the stars of the Irish boxing team in Kazakhstan, the Irish light welterweight earned a unanimous decision over German champion Cindy Rogge to secure a pace in the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Championships.

Almost speechless after her win the young Dubliner out boxed the German for four rounds and is now just one win away from securing a medal and a place in the semi-finals.

But as much as the deserved win Harrington displayed a talent and ease at this level, the only misfortunate side being that her division is not included in Rio and unlike Katie Taylor’s lightweight division, a semi-final place will not get Harrington to the Olympics.

“Absolutely delighted,” she said afterwards. “Tactics were spot on. I got great tactics of the coaches here and off Jimmy Halpin as well. It worked all round, a very high performance. Everything I did I was told to do.”

Irish coach Zaur Antia was more persuasive about Harrington’s emergent ability.

“Excellent performance,” said Antia. “She has very big ability. She won two fights easy and once she believes in herself more she will win every fight. She is very good technically and very flexible. Today she has to enjoy. Then prepare.”

It was a master class from the Dubliner, who kept moving and using her jab for all four rounds. The German, a hard puncher wanted to engage but Harrington using her feet and speed worked the ring and patiently scored, usually with the jab but the backhand landing too.

It was not until the final round that Rogge knew she was in trouble and more aggressively went about trying to turn it into a battle. But Harrington’s discipline held and her speed and fitness did the rest. From such an inexperienced boxer, it was a stunning performance.

Did you expect to get this far she was asked. “No,” she replied bluntly.

She now meets home town hero, Kazakhstan’s Zarina Tsoloyeva. Dubbed the Angelia Jolie of world boxing because of a similarity in appearance, Tsoloyeva defeated the top Italian seed Valentina Alberti to secure the quarterfinal meeting on May 24th.

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