Kellie Harrington will be taking it one step at a time in the battle for the vacant lightweight crown at the National Elite Championships.
The Dubliner is targeting her seventh title at the flagship tournament of Irish boxing which begins Friday at the National Stadium in Dublin
Harrington has already won six belts, one at welter and five at light-welter, the weight she claimed World silver at in Kazakhstan last year after becoming the first Irishwoman after Katie Taylor to reach an AIBA Elite final in Central Asia.
Taylor, who has since turned pro, is the last boxer to claim Irish lightweight honours, the Olympic champion beating Tipperary’s Shauna O’Keeffe in the 2015 lightweight decider at the Stadium in November of that year, O’Keeffe giving a fine account of herself against one of the greatest pound-for-pound female fighters of all time.
The IABA ran the National Elites twice in 2015 to facilitate Ireland’s boxers going into the qualifiers for Rio 2016.
O’Keeffe, ex-European Youth champion Amy Broadhurst, and Rivers McCormack have also entered in the lightweight class this year.
Flyweight, lightweight and middleweight are the three Olympics weights for women, although AIBA has announced that featherweight will be open to females at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina next year in a strong indication that women may have at least one extra weight at Tokyo 2020.
The 32nd Olympiad is the ultimate goal for Harrington, but her immediate focus is a hat-trick at three different weights after dropping down a notch from light-welter (64kg) to lightweight (60kg).
“My preparations has been good. I’ve been working hard as always,” said Harrington of the Glasnevin BC.
“I’m looking forward to getting the ball rolling now and getting in there and getting the competition underway. Looking forward to the new challenge at 60kg. I’m not too sure what the rest of the year has in store but I like to take it one step at a time so I’m focusing on the Elites.When they’re over then I move onto the next thing.”
Please click here for entries for the 2017 National Elite Men’s and Women’s Championships and tournament Circular.
Irish women’s boxing is proudly sponsored by Quickpark of Dublin Airport.