Tremendous sportsmanship in Tokyo as Kellie Harrington brings each fighter to the top of the podium 10 months ago

Tremendous sportsmanship in Tokyo as Kellie Harrington brings each fighter to the top of the podium

After what many are calling one of the greatest Irish boxing performances of all-time, Kellie Harrington has done it, she's an Olympic champion.

And that's the beautiful thing for the Dubliner that, on the highest stage of all, in the show she's spent her whole life preparing for, she didn't just go through the motions and box away, instead, she expressed herself and after the first round went against her, seemed to grow into the occasion even more. From then on, it was mesmeric from the Portland Row native, who, with her sharp eye and lightning reflexes, was too fast and too good for her Brazilian opponent Beatriz Ferreira. Coming into this one, Ferreira hadn't lost a fight in two years but then again, she hadn't fought an opponent like Kellie Harrington in two years.

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Most importantly, that dominance was reflected on the judges' score-cards as in the final two rounds of the fight, there wasn't a judge at the table who sided with the Brazilian. It was all 10-9 to Harrington, who, after Michael Carruth and Katie Taylor, became only the third Irish boxer to win Olympic gold. By this stage emotions were running wild, both in Tokyo and in Dublin, but it was only when the tricolour rose above the rest, when Amhrán na bhFiann played around the Kokugikan Arena, when it all seemed to hit home for the queen of the hour.

Afterwards, she talked about the relief, the exhaustion and above all, the excitement to get back to Dublin to soak it all in.

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"I feel relief. Anyone who steps in between those ropes is a champion. Every fight has been a tough fight, a gold medal fight.

"I just can't wait to get back home, to lie on the couch, to sleep, to rest, I'm absolutely exhausted to be honest. And my hair, I'm like a fluffy pigeon going around, I'm that right. What a journey, it was just fantastic."

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"There's been times in my career when people say the whole country is behind me. This time I really felt it. People say that's a pressure, but I didn't feel that because I knew that I'd made myself and the people of Ireland proud regardless of the colour of the medal. This is the stuff of dreams for me," she concluded.

But if you were looking for something to capture the spirit of this great champion, it wasn't long after the medals were presented in that arena in Tokyo far away, when with her fellow competitors alongside her, Harrington brought them all onto the top step of the podium. "We're all champions," she said in that interview.

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She really meant it too.