Kellie Harrington is guaranteed at least bronze from the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Dublin lightweight beat Algeria’s Imane Khelif on a unanimous decision this morning to book her ticket into the last four.
Harrington found the target with some beautiful combinations against the North African in round one, two and three and also hit the mark with backhands.
Khelif, who had a height and reach advantage, also found the target but not with the same frequency as Harrington.
Harrington will now meet Thailand’s Sudaporn Sessondee in the semi-finals.
Harrington beat Sessondee on a 3-2 split decision in the 2018 World Elite final.
The final scores from this morning’s bout were 30-27,30-27,30-27,30-27, 29-28 to 2018 World Elite champion Harrington.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotions,” Harrington told RTÉ Sport after the fight.
“You think of getting here and I never think of getting medals. Sometimes I think I’m lucky. I can’t be that lucky to be winning all these things and end up here with a bronze medal in my bag from the Olympic Games.
“Everything I’ve achieved I owe to Noel Burke, who is my club coach at home. I owe it to these men [coaches] and the rest of the high performance team. Not only this, I owe it to my team mates, as well, for all the sparring and the preparation and support that they’ve give me out here – and we give each other – it’s just been fantastic.
“The support that I’m getting from the community back home. I’ve heard that it’s lit back home. I’m just so happy and my emotions really come when it comes to this. To be able to give them something to be happy about and to sing and dance. Just for one person lifting the nation.
Of her opponent Harrington said, “very, very awkward and throwing from real far but making mad grunting noises. She had really long arms and it was hard to get in and do what I would like to do.
“It wasn’t an amazing fight but it was a fight that I won – I did enough to win it. She was smiling at me and sticking out her tongue. I was smiling back as if to say, ‘it’s all fun and games until my hand gets lifted!’
Irish boxing has two bronze medals as Belfast welter Aidan Walsh will be bringing home bronze.
Irish boxing has now won nine medals from three of the last four Olympics.
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Jose Quiles (Spain) 5-0
81kg Emmet Brennan (Ireland) lost to Dilshod Ruzmetov (Uzbekistan) 0-5
52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Carlo Paalam (Philippines) 1-4
57kg Michaela Walsh (Ireland) lost to Irma Testa (Italy) 0-5
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) beat Albert Menque (Cameroon) 5-0
75kg Aoife O’Rourke (Ireland) lost to Qian Li (China) 0-5
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) beat Mirazizbek Mitzakhalilov (Uzbekistan) 4-1
60hk Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Rebecca Nicoli (Italy) 5-0
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) beat Mervin Clair (Mauritius) 4-1
57kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Duke Ragan (USA) 2-3
69kg Aidan Walsh (Ireland) lost to Pat McCormack (Great Britain) (W/O)
(Walsh sustains an ankle injury)
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Imane Khelif (Algeria) 5-0
60kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Sudaporn Sessondee (Thailand)