Olympics

Eric Donovan Believes Pressure Is Off Kellie Harrington As She Goes For Gold

Eric Donovan Believes Pressure Is Off Kellie Harrington As She Goes For Gold

After a couple of days in which things didn't go quite a well as we would have hoped for Team Ireland, Kellie Harrington very much got the show back on the road by securing at least a bronze medal by winning her quarter-final bout in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The Dubliner was a convincing winner against Algeria's Imane Khelif, coming out victorious via unanimous decision. She will now be hoping to go one better and secure in the place in final when she faces Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee tomorrow.

Harrington entered these games carrying a weight of expectation having been a top seed in the draw and a previous world championships gold medal. While that pressure didn't seem to affect her, she is likely to feel a weight lifted off her shoulders now that a medal has been secured.

Eric Donovan certainly believes that will be the case.

Speaking on RTÉ, he said that Harrington will now box without pressure after guaranteeing a place on the podium. However, he did warn that all four boxers remaining in the tournament are capable of winning gold.

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Kellie is 31-years old, she's a long time around.  A lot of sacrifice and a lot of dedication.

She has the measure of Seesondee, but Seesondee is different gravy. She is 28-years old, Kellie's last two opponents were 22-years old and relatively inexperienced...

This is the business end now. These last four semi-finalists are all capable of winning the gold medal, that's the truth of it. It's about performance, it's about execution.

We know Kellie has the tools, she has all the attributes, and all the skills. What she needs to do is just deliver, just perform.

She has a medal secured. I think there was a lot of pressure on Kellie to bring home a medal. I think now that she has that she can express herself more freely and just go for it.

She is a winner now, she will return from the Olympics a winner.

Any time I got to a major tournament, and I didn't pick up many medals, but when I got the bronze medal at the Europeans in 2008 it was a monkey off my back. You walk out with a bit of a swag. You're thinking 'I'm not going home empty-handed no matter what happens.

Kellie Harrington's semi-final will take place at 6am tomorrow morning (Irish time).

Here's hoping for another big result.

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Gary Connaughton

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