WORLD Elite lightweight champion Kellie Harrington was glad that rugby star Johnny Sexton wasn’t in the running for Friday’s awards in Dublin.
The only Irish boxer to win two World Elite medals at two different weights scooped the overall 2018 Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Award at the Shelbourne Hotel yesterday.
The Dubliner topped the 60kg podium at the World Elite Championships in New Delhi last month after winning five bouts.
The gold helped Ireland finish in 6th spot in the medals table at the 73-nation tournament and bumped Ireland up to 7th place in the all-time World Elite Women’s Championships medals rankings.
Harrington, one gold and silver, and Katie Taylor, five gold and bronze, have won all of Ireland’s medals at the World Women’s Elites.
“I’m just glad Johnny Sexton didn’t come in a dress. That’s all I’m saying,” said Harrington in a tongue in cheek comment to the Irish Times – Irish fly half Sexton has picked up numerous awards after powerful performances against the All Blacks and in the Six Nations this year.
Harrington, who also claimed European Elite bronze and multi-nation silver in 2018, capped a vintage year for Irish boxing with over 40 medals in World, European and Olympic Youth competition from all levels from Elite to Schoolboy/girl.
Ten of those medals are gold – and eight of them were won by women.
World No.1 Harrington reckons that awards matter.
“Do you know what, right. I’ll be honest with you, right,” she told The Irish Times. There’s been loads of awards that have been on and like I haven’t got one of them, right.
“So I come here today and I’m saying to all my coaches I’m up for all these awards and I haven’t got one, right.
“They’re telling me you are a world champion. And I’m saying to everyone, yeah, you’re dead right, you’re dead right.
“But getting it, it does mean something because it means you are getting recognised.You know, like, people are actually taking an interest.
“I can brush it off and say no, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter I didn’t get it. But it does matter. It does matter, right, Everyone wants it. There is not one person there doesn’t want it. No, right. It’s like brilliant. It’s like amazing.”
(Image: Harrington with IABA CEO Fergal Carruth and club coach (St Mary’s BC) Noel Burke yesterday)