Ireland’s loss in India’s gain for sure: Oly champ Kellie on Bernard’s appointment

Guwahati: Reacting to the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) decision to appoint Bernard Dunne as the new high-performance director, reigning Olympic champion boxer Kelli Harrington of Ireland said Indian boxers will benefit from his presence.

“Ireland’s loss in India’s gain for sure,” said Kellie, reacting to Bernard’s appointment.

Bernard, who will replace Santiago Nieva for the top job, has been instrumental in guiding Kellie to win the world championship title in 2018 before the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. During his five-year stint with the Irish boxing team, he also guided Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke to gold medals at the last World Championships and Aidan Walsh to a bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games.

The 42-year-old who has 13 national titles to his name, has joined the Indian boxing elite programme at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala. Dunne has stated that his goal is to perform similar work with the BFI and bring pride to the people of India through the performance of his teams.

“India has huge boxing talent and its boxers have been performing exceedingly well. It will be a great opportunity for me to work with them and contribute to their success. I’m very excited to join the team and take the standards of Indian boxing to a new high altogether,” said Dunne.

Commenting on his appointment, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) general secretary Hemanta Kalita said, “Indian boxing has been on the rise and this is our effort in giving them an edge to win more and more medals at the international stage. Dunne is a big name in boxing and has helped boxers win medals at big stages. His presence will definitely motivate our boxers.”

BFI president Ajay Singh said Dunne’s addition to the set-up will boost up the preparations for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

“This is a major boost to our aim of winning medals at the Paris Olympics. With the amount of experience and success he has under his belt, he is the perfect fit for this role. I’m sure Dunne will guide our boxers to the next level of performance,” Singh said.

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