Kellie Harrington back in the groove after win in first bout since seven-month injury layoff
Former World champion Kellie Harrington has made a triumphant return to the ring after a seven month lay-off due to a thumb injury.The lightweight won her quarter-final bout at the prestigious Strandja Multi-Nation tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Dubliner hasn't boxed competitively since withdrawing from the lightweight final at the European Games in Minsk last June after picking up the injury in her semi-final win overAgnes Alexiusson from Sweden. She subsequently underwent surgery missing both the European and the Irish Elite championships. In her absence Dundalk's Amy Broadhurst won a bronze medal at the European event and won the Irish title via a walk-over. Harrington and Broadhurst are battling to secure a place at the Tokyo Olympics next summer in the lightweight division. In her comeback fight in Sofia Harrington comfortably overcame Aneta Rygielska from Poland. But there was no joy for Broadburst. The Dundalk boxer lost on points to the veteran Finnish fighter Mira Potkonen, who beat Katie Taylor in the quarter-final at the Rio Olympics to secure a bronze medal. She is the current European Games and European champion. At the latter event in Madrid she beat Broadhurst in the semi-final. Harrington and Potkonen are in opposite halves of the draw but will meet in the gold medal fight if they win their respective semi-finals. Boxers from 71 countries are competing in the tournament which is seen as an important warm-up event prior to the start of the qualifying events for the Tokyo Olympics. The European Olympic qualifying tournament is scheduled for March in London. Former World lightweight professional champion Delfine Persoon – who surrendered her title to Ireland’s Kate Taylor last year – is not competing in Sofia following her decision to bid for a place in Tokyo. But she will have to fight in London in March if she is to pursue her Olympic dream. Online Editors Read more: Independent.ie
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