Kellie Harrington first in action for Ireland at European Games Olympic qualifier

Ireland has sent a team of 12 male and female boxers hoping to qualify for Paris 2024

Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Kellie Harrington will lead the way for the Irish boxing team at the European Games in Poland on Friday.

The lightweight champion has been drawn for the first bout on day one of the boxing tournament in Krakow’s Nowy Targ Arena.

Harrington is one of the 12 Irish boxers who hope Poland will secure their ticket to the Olympic Games next year in Paris. In Harrington’s 60kg division four from the 32 athletes will directly qualify for the Olympics meaning she must achieve a quarter-final place or better over the next week.

There is no seeding in the tournament with 33-year-old Harrington facing Miroslava Jedinakova from Slovakia. The 23-year-old lost in the round of 32 at this years World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India, a tournament in which Ireland did not compete because of the ongoing dispute between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Boxing Association (IBA).


Boxing is no longer recognised by the IOC and is not on the roster for the LA Olympics 2028, which makes Paris next year even more important for Harrington, world champion Amy Broadhurst and European champion Aoife O’Rourke, who all have strong chances of qualification.

Harrington has won all her fights this year after collecting the Irish championship in January. Since then, she has competed in the Strandja Memorial final in Sofia and more recently in May when she won the 2023 Usti nad Labem Grand Prix-Final in a split decision. She has never fought against Jedinakova.

Also in action on Friday are Jude Gallagher in the 57kg division. He faces Bulgarian, Javier Ibanez, while in the 63.5kg category Dean Clancy begins his competition against Austria’s Arsen Chabyan.

Friday bouts – 12:00 Women’s – 60kg Kellie Harrington (IRL) v Miroslava Jedinakova (SVK); 12.45 Men’s – 57kg Jude Gallagher (IRL) v Javier Ibanez; (BUL); 14:00 Men’s 63.5kg – Dean Clancy (IRL) v Arsen Chabyan (AUT)

European Games boxing draw (Ireland)

Women’s 50kg – Daina Moorehouse (IRL) Bye

Women’s 54kg – Jennifer Lehane (IRL) V Sara Cirkovic (SRB)

Women’s 57kg – Michaela Walsh (IRL) V Olga Pavlina Papadatou (GRE)

Women’s 60kg – Kellie Harrington (IRL) V Miroslava Jedinakova (SVK)

Women’s 66kg – Amy Broadhurst (IRL) V Milena Matovic (SRB)

Women’s 75kg – Aoife O’Rourke (IRL) Bye

Men’s 51kg – Sean Mari (IRL) Bye

Men’s 57kg – Jude Gallagher (IRL) V Javier Ibanez Diaz (BUL)

Men’s 63.5kg – Dean Clancy (IRL) V Arsen Chabyan (AUT)

Men’s 71kg – Dean Walsh (IRL) Bye

Men’s 80kg – Kelyn Cassidy (IRL) V Mindaugas Gedminas (NOR)

Men’s 92kg – Jack Marley (IRL) Bye

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times