If Kellie Harrington didn’t know it before she got to Tokyo she is now only too well aware you don’t get Olympic gold medals in a lucky bag.
In most boxing weight divisions you will find one ‘weaker’ fighter in the semi finals but this time around the last four in the women’s lightweight section were all top class.
Harrington faced off with a Thai boxer she just about beat in the World Championship final, and just about managed to defeat this time too, while the other semi featured a Finn who has beaten Kellie every time they met and who beat Katie Taylor in Rio against a Brazilian, who despite Harrington being world champion, has been the bookies favourite from the start.
In short no matter who the Dubliner ended up fighting she was going to be up against it and with Beatriz Pereira the Brazilian bomber waiting in the decider things have not got any easier.
Pereira reminds Nelson of Irish fight legend Steve Collins.
Collins was never a stylish or outstanding boxer but by God he was an outstanding fighter and Pereira is cut from the same cloth.
She comes forward and throws every punch with bad intentions whereas Harrington is the stylist in the bout, slick with the shots and even slicker with the footwork, hit and avoid being hit being her mantra.
Mike Tyson it was who said, ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face’, and what he meant was that most of his opponents came in the ring to box and move against him, but when he hit them hard in the face their natural instinct to hit back harder took over and they ended up fighting the fight Tyson wanted them to.
If, or more likely when, Harrington gets hot hard she has to curb the urge to fight and remember to box.
That ways lies gold and the slightest deviation from the plan will see her come up short.
Harrington is not an exciting fighter but she is a skilful one and sticking to those skills will see her through.
The Irish camp should insist on dope testing the judges though as so far the judging has been pretty good but this being the Olympics there’s always a dodgy decision waiting to happen.
The Leinster final win for Meath minors may be the clearest indicator yet of the Dublin dominance in the province coming to the natural end of its cycle.
Of course not all the Meath team will follow through to senior level but those that do will have no fear, mentally or physically of the sky blue shirt.
It is often the case that managers prepare great teams for someone else to succeed with and given the abundance of under age talent coming through in Meath Andy McEntee may well be doing the groundwork for someone else.
If that is the case the Nobber native deserves some serious thanks.
Neslson will freely admit having his doubts about McEntee and equally freely admit he has been proved wrong.
He may even have, belatedly, solved the goalkeeping problem, and he certainly has restored some pride in the shirt.
Perhaps it is simply a case of after playing catch up for years Meath have nearly caught up and that the next generation could be the ones to pass out the Dubs.
Speaking as we were about the Olympics what is it with Team Ireland and horses /
We all remember too well Cian O’Connor losing out on gold due to Waterford Crystal, his horse failing a drugs test and this time around Rhys McLenaghan had gold in his sights when he came off the Pommell HORSE!
Then O’Connor on his current horse missed out on the individual jump off by a miniscule amount.
Horses for courses indeed.