Job well done - Kellie Harrington is congratulated by Irish coaches Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger today

Kellie Harrington and Irish coaches Zaur Antia and Eddie Bolger in Astana.

An Irishwoman will step into the ring for the first time for a light-welterweight semi-final at an AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan today.

Dublin light-welter Kellie Harrington meets Canada’s Sara Kali in the last-four of the tournament. Both women clash over four,two minute rounds looking to upgrade their guaranteed bronze medals to at least silver.

Harrington, a multiple Irish Elite champion and the first Irish female fighter besides Katie Taylor to medal at this level, has had a magnificent tournament so far, winning three fights with style and panache.

If her hand is raised in victory again this morning (Irish time) she’ll become the fifth Irish boxer after Jason Quigley (2013), Michael Conlan (2015), Joe Ward (2015), and Taylor (2006/08/10/12/14) to reach an AIBA World Elite final.

 Katie Taylor and Irish head coach Zaur Antia in Astana

Katie Taylor and Irish head coach Zaur Antia in Astana

Taylor, meanwhile, will be aiming to edge a step closer to an historic sixth title. The Bray woman qualified for Rio 2016 by virtue of reaching the last four in Astana in one of the three Olympic weights – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – for women.

She meets French lightweight Estelle Mosselly, an opponent she has beaten three times in since 2013, for a place in the 60kg decider.

Harrington is in action in the 5th bout in the first session which begins at 10am (Irish time) and Taylor the fifth bout on the second session which begins at 2pm (Irish time).

“Both girls are in top form and looking forward to their semi-finals. They are taking a lot of confidence from their excellent performances so far,” said Irish team manager Anna Moore.

Click here for semi-final program.The finals will be held Friday.

Team Ireland are due to arrive home at 9.40am on Saturday morning through Dublin Airport.



AIBA World Women’s Championships Astana, Kazakhstan

May 19th (Last 64)
51kg Ceire Smith (Ireland) lost to Ingrit Valencia (Colombia) 0-2

May 20th (Last 32)
54kg Dervla Duffy (Ireland) lost to Diletta Cipallane (Italy) 0-3
57kg Moira McElligot (Ireland) lost to Sati Burcu (Turkey) 1-2
64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Austeja Auciute (Lithuania) 3-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Ireland) lost to Khadija Mardi (Morocco) 0-3

May 21st (Last 32)
48kg Donna Barr (Ireland) lost to Kim Klavel (Canada) 0-3
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Agnes Alexiusson (Sweden) 3-0

May 22nd (Last 16)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) beat Hanna Solecka (Poland) 3-0

May 23rd (last 16)
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Dayana Sanchez (Argentina) 3-0
64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Cindy Rogge (Germany) 3-0

May 24th Q/Finals
64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) beat Zarina Tsoloyeva (Kazakhstan) 3-0
60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) beat Victoria Torres (Mexico) 3-0
69kg Grainne Walsh (Ireland) lost to Valentina Khalzova (Kazakhstan) TKOI2

May 26th S/Finals

60kg Katie Taylor (Ireland) v Estelle Mossely (France)
60kg Mira Potkonen (Finland) v Anastasia Beliakova (Russia)

64kg Kellie Harrington (Ireland) v Sara Kali (Canada)
64kg Yang Wenlu (China) v Skye Nicolson (Australia)

Irish squad

48kg Donna Barr (Twin Towns)

51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)

54kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart)

57kg Moira McElligot (St Michael’s Athy)

60kg Katie Taylor (Bray) (Bronze, at least)

64kg Kellie Harrington (Glasnevin) (Bronze, at least)

69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus)

75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgan’s)

Team manager: Anna Moore

Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, Gerry Storey, Pat McDonagh