Olympics

Kellie Harrington's Coach Explains How She Turned Around Gold Medal Fight

Kellie Harrington's Coach Explains How She Turned Around Gold Medal Fight

Zaur Antia says Kellie Harrington switching her stance during her fight with Beatriz Ferreira was the move which won the Dubliner the lightweight gold medal in Tokyo.

Sunday morning's fight saw the meeting of the 2018 world champion Harrington and the 2019 world chamion Ferreira.

"That was two world champions meeting each other," Irish boxing head coach Antia told RTÉ.

"That was fantastic. This morning, when we came in for the competition, it was raining. I said, 'John, this is the Irish weather. It's a good sign of something'."

Harrington lost the opening round 3-2, but made a stunning comeback to take the second and third rounds 5-0 as she won by unanimous decision.

"We planned the fight," Antia continued.

"[Kellie] has two styles: She can fight in orthodox, she can fight in southpaw - she is very difficult for her opponent.

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"Our plan was that no matter what happens, we must win the first two rounds. It was 3-2 [to Ferreira in the first round] because it's a good opponent.

"Then, [Kellie] changed styles. [Ferreira] cannot adapt, she did not know. If [Kellie] stays for a long time in orthodox, then maybe [Ferreira could adapt]. But [Kellie] changed, and then they needed another plan.

"[Kellie] is a universal boxer. She can deal with any style."

zaur antia bernard dunne kellie harrington tokyo 2020 gold

8 August 2021; Kellie Harrington of Ireland reacts after defeating Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil in their women's lightweight final bout at the Kokugikan Arena during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Irish boxing high performance director Bernard Dunne said that Harrington had been, "amazing throughout the whole competition."

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"Over the last number of years, she's been so consistent in her performance and her attitude," he said.

"It's a credit to Kellie, a credit to her club coach (Noel Burke), a credit to the high performance coaches.

"It's been gruelling over the last 15 or 16 months with the cancellation of the European qualifiers. That strength and resilience within the team to continue on that journey with the uncertainty of whether the games were going to happen or not.

"We have an Olympic gold medal, and an Olympic bronze medal, and we have seven athletes who have performed exceptionally well in this competition."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Kellie Harrington's Post-Victory Interview Is A Thing Of Beauty

zaur antia bernard dunne kellie harrington tokyo 2020 gold

PJ Browne
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