On last day of the Tokyo 2020 Boxing Olympic Tournament, the ring of the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo saw Women’s Light (57-60kg), Men’s Light (57-63kg), Women’s Middle (69-75kg) and Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg).
In the first final of the day, Kellie Anne HARRINGHTON (IRL) became the new Women’s Light (57-60kg) Olympic champion as she defeated Beatriz FERREIRA of Brazil in a breathtaking final match.
FERREIRA got off to a good start by taking the opening round but HARRINGHTON settled into the bout in the second, taking that round before also taking the third to win. The 31-year-old from Dublin claimed a 5:0 sharp victory to climb atop of the podium.
Speaking after the gold medal victory, the Irish boxer said:
“I have no words. The hard work, dedication, sacrifice that has gone into this. The lonely moments, the tears. My family knows, my coaches know, the coaches here know, it hasn’t even hit yet.”
“I’m crying as I have a sense of relief. When I get back and I’m in my room on my own, or when I get to the team, it will hit… I’m just relieved.” She also added.
“I never have any expectations going into tournaments. I just go in and expect to perform. I just focus on me and good things happen then. When you can do all of the little things, good things come after that.”
“I do love that I have this medal, but it’s step by step to get there and performance is key. If you don’t perform well then you can’t move on to the next stage.“
Kellie Anne HARRINGTON became the third boxer representing Ireland to claim an Olympic gold medal in the history of the sport, after Michael CARRUTH won the men’s welterweight at Barcelona 1992 and Katie TAYLOR won the women’s lightweight at London 2012.
Also, HARRINGTON gave Ireland its second Olympic gold medal of Tokyo 2020, after it won the men’s lightweight double sculls in rowing.
Silver medalist, Beatriz FERREIRA, can be proud of herself as she became the second Brazilian woman to claim an Olympic medal in boxing, after Adriana ARAUJO took bronze in the women’s lightweight at London 2012.
It’s a great achievement for the Salvador-born who also gave Brazil its 20th medal of Tokyo 2020, making this the most successful Olympic Games for Brazil in terms of total medals. Brazil took 19 medals at Rio 2016.
The Brazilian boxer, regarding her opponent, said: “We know each other from other championships. Even if we didn’t know each other, being at the Olympic Games, we try our best. We are champions so even if I didn’t get the gold, I’m still very happy that she got it. I’m happy for my results too. So, hugging each other was good, because we represent how much the sport means to us. I’m really happy for her win.”
“The silver is really important for me because I participated in several championships, but this is the only one that I could get on to the podium for. I worked really hard and this is a great result for me.” She added.
Sudaporn SEESONDEE (THA) and Mira Marjut Johanna POTKONEN (FIN) took the bronze medals.
This was an historic result for the Thai boxer who became the first woman from Thailand to win an Olympic boxing medal. It was the 15th medal in total for the NOC in boxing.
“It was my goal to win a medal. I’ve spent so much time in practice in order to make it. It’s not only my medal, but the medal of all Thai people. I will try hard to win a medal again.” SEESONDEE said.
Furthermore, at the age of 40-year-old and 264 days, POTKONEN, who is the oldest athlete of the Boxing Tournament, won her second Olympic medal, after bronze in this event at Rio 2016. She became the second boxer from Finland to win multiple Olympic medals, after Pentti HAMALAINEN won gold and bronze in 1952 and 1956 respectively.
On winning the bronze, POTKONEN commented: “I’ve been working hard for more than a decade. Now I’m a two-time Olympic medallist. It’s a great reward. Now it’s the end of my career. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”
“This medal required harder work than before. This was the hardest medal to win, but it’s not related to Covid. It’s just personal issues like training and injuries.”
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