Olympic champion Kellie Harrington and European champion Aoife O’Rourke won gold medals at the 73rd annual Strandja tournament in Sofia.
— IABA (@IABABOXING) February 26, 2022
Competing in the 60kg division, Olympic champion Harrington made her return to competitive boxing for the first time since she picked up gold in Tokyo. Harrington defeated Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson and Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volossenko to book her place in the final.
In 2020, Harrington took silver at the prestigious Strandja Multi-Nations tournament, after being beaten by Finland’s Mira Potkonen. This time, she left no stone unturned. The Dubliner claimed the gold by earning a unanimous decision against Serbia’s Natalia Shadrina.She took victory on all five judges scorecards; 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27. Harrington’s movement and superior boxing skills came to the fore as she outclassed her opponent.
Later that afternoon, 2019 European champion Aoife O’Rourke, too claimed gold but this time in the middleweight division. O’Rourke cruised to the final defeating Greece’s Vasiliki Stravridou and France’s Davina Michel.
In the gold medal fight, the Roscommon fighter showed why she is tipped to go far in Paris 2024. The Irish boxer dominated her opponent Atheyna Bylon with all five judges giving her the win; 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.