Ireland's Kellie Harrington has admitted she is over the moon to have qualified for her second Olympics this week. The Dubliner got the better of Agnes Alexiusson of Sweden in a grueling 60kg contest and as a result will be heading to Paris next year.
The win now means that Harrington will have a chance to defend the gold medal she won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She will now head to the games with a host of other Irish boxers looking for Olympic glory.
On Wednesday, an emotional Harrington expressed her delight at becoming a double Olympian.
"I'm overjoyed,' said Portland Row Harrington. "It's been a rollercoaster of emotions.
"I said if I qualified out here, I'm going to let things go because I've had a rough few months, and this makes it all worthwhile, coming back strong.
"I'll only call myself a double Olympian once I get to Paris, but it's incredible. I'm on cloud nine right now. I know that my face doesn't say I'm overjoyed.
"It's been a rollercoaster of emotions—to come back after my hand being raised, it's just been incredible. To go home now and celebrate with my small circle—with my family, with Mandy—I just can't wait.
"The last camp has been amazing, and that's made me feel like I'm able to keep up with them, that I must be getting closer to where I was, and that's what made me."
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) June 28, 2023
The 33-year-old, who has come under intense media scrutiny this year, also claimed that she was close to retirement if she failed to make it to France this week. Retirement had been on the cards, but for now, that plan is on hold.
"There were moments where I didn't think I wanted to be here," the Irish boxer added.
"I was retiring without telling anybody after this if I didn't qualify. That was my retirement cue to get out.
"I often heard people say, once you get to the top it's like, 'Okay, where do I go from there?' Now I've been there, and that's kind of what happened.
"I've never celebrated any of (the victories) at all. It was like, 'What's next? What's next?'. I feel like I was chasing something that I didn't even know what I'm chasing.
"So I haven't been enjoying it because I didn't know what I was looking for."
The Olympic Games will run from Friday, July 26, to Sunday, August 11, in 2024."