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Sunday 25 August 2019

Ross's Katie gaffe can't wipe smile off face of Kellie and heroes on return

Team Ireland medallists (from left) Kellie Harrington, Grainne Walsh, Michael Nevin, Kurt
Walker, Regan Buckley, Michaela Walsh, Sam and Chloe Magee arrive at Dublin Airport. Photo: Collins
Team Ireland medallists (from left) Kellie Harrington, Grainne Walsh, Michael Nevin, Kurt Walker, Regan Buckley, Michaela Walsh, Sam and Chloe Magee arrive at Dublin Airport. Photo: Collins

Dublin's world champion boxer Kellie Harrington toasted her success at the European Games by preparing for a real feast.

Kellie and her fellow boxers on Team Ireland arrived home from Minsk with an impressive haul of six medals.

Meanwhile, brother and sister duo Chloe and Sam Magee, from Raphoe in Co Donegal, claimed Ireland's seventh medal - a bronze in badminton.

Kellie, who hails from the north inner city, won silver in the lightweight competition after a thumb injury dashed her hopes of competing for gold in the final.

Humdinger

Gaffe-prone Sports Minister Shane Ross, who welcomed the team home, was guilty of another humdinger when he mixed up Kellie with that other well-known world champ, Katie Taylor.

Perhaps it was a case of one too many visits to Dublin Airport for the minister, who welcomed home Taylor last month.

Mr Ross said he insisted on thinking of Kellie as a gold medal winner, adding: "We all know that Katie will come back as strong as ever." Kellie took it in her stride and laughed it off.

While disappointed at being unable to compete in the final, Kellie was still in buoyant mood as she told the Herald: "I've come home with a silver medal from the European Games which is a massive achievement.

"I'm not going to let what happened in the final with my injury ruin the success of my silver.

"It's all about performance; it's not about bringing back medals.

Athletes Kellie Harrington and Grainne Walsh
Athletes Kellie Harrington and Grainne Walsh

"We go out there to perform and once you perform well then that speaks for itself."

Asked how she would be celebrating her medal win, she said: "I'm going to have a burger or a pizza and I've seen my mam has a box of doughnuts for me."

Kellie was captain of the boxing team and said it was an amazing experience, adding: "It was an honour to be the captain of such a great team, such a well-bonded team."

Meanwhile, gold medallist Kurt Walker, from Lisburn, Co Antrim, said he was overwhelmed at the welcome, particularly from his nine-month-old nephew Rio.

The other winners included Bray boxer Regan Buckley, who won bronze, Tullamore's Grainne Walsh, Portaloise's Michael Nevin and Belfast's Michaela Walsh.

Kurt Walker at the airport
Kurt Walker at the airport

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