Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington's partner says last week 'like a dream unfolding from day to day'
THE partner of Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington has said the last week has been "like a dream unfolding from day to day".
Speaking after the Irish boxer won the women's 60kg lightweight final in Tokyo, Mandy Loughlin said Harrington makes those around her "want to be a better person".
The 31-year-old from Dublin defeated Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira to become only the second Irish female boxer to win an Olympic medal after Katie Taylor's gold in London 2012.
Ms Loughlin, a former boxer, said she "never doubted Kellie for a minute, never".
"The whole package is here for Kellie now, she has got such a fantastic support system in her coaches, the IABA, her club coaches, family and friends," she told the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio.
"Everything has come together so well for Kellie.
"The only thing I felt wasn’t coming together was the lack of preparation (due to Covid) as they weren’t going to competitions at that level but when she went to the qualifiers, she flew through them and came out with the gold.
"That was all the confidence she needed and I was just so happy and positive that she would get what she deserved."
But Ms Loughlin said she did not watch any of Harrington's fights live.
"I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been a boxer myself or anything, I don’t know why but I just can’t do it," she said.
"I’d usually take the dogs out for a walk and try to be normal and do normal things and try to put it to the back of my mind for a while but it was actually hard as they were on in the middle of the night this time.
"It was just sleepless, anxious nights, so it was really, really tough."
She added that Harrington "brings 110 per cent to whatever she does".
"She brings the craic, she brings passion and excitement," she said.
"If you meet Kellie and you are talking to her, she just makes you want to be a better person."
Her win also inspired numerous songs and poems written in recognition of the boxer on an RTÉ radio programme.
The Joe Duffy Show celebrated her success with a feature entitled, Gold in Their Eyes: Songs for Kellie Harrington, with listeners calling in with their own musical and poetic tributes to the new Olympic champion from the Portland Row area of Dublin.