5 August 2021: Sudaporn Seesondee had to settle for a bronze medal on Thursday as the Thai boxer lost narrowly to 2018 world champion Kellie Harrington of Ireland in the women’s boxing 60kg semi-finals at Kokugikan Arena.
In a repeat of their World Championships final in New Delhi three years back, Harrington edged past the Thai 3-2 to qualify for the gold medal match against Beatriz Ferreira of Brazil, who beat Mira Marjut Johanna Potkonen of Finland 5-0.
The defeat left Sudaporn with the bronze medal and Bt4.8 million in prize money from the National Sports Development Fund. Her bank account will be swelled further by several million from the private sector, including Bt2 million from Bangchak Corporation.
The 2018 Asian Games silver medalist from Udon Thani had no regrets about her performance in Tokyo, insisting she had given everything against Harrington.
“I’m satisfied with the result even though it didn’t go my way,” said Sudaporn, who becomes Thailand’s first female boxer to win an Olympic medal.
Sudaporn chased her opponent throughout the three-round fight, but the Irishwoman – a hospital cleaner from Dublin – showed patience to land clean counterpunches that found their target. The Thai had no questions about the judges’ decision and accepted the outcome.
“It was a close bout and the score was acceptable. It was not easy to box her as she has good footwork and long punches, which was probably why she earned more points,” Sudaporn added.
Asked if she would seek revenge for the two straight defeats to Harrington, the 29-year-old Sudaporn said: “If my body allows me, we may fight again in Paris [at the 2024 Olympics]. But I have to go back and work really hard.”
Sudaporn also thanked her mother, Thai fans, and her boxing trainers, crediting them for her success.
Thailand is now likely to end its Olympic campaign with two medals – a gold from Panipak Wongpattanakit in the women’s 49kg taekwondo and a bronze from Sudaporn. Thailand still has two athletes left in the Games – Patty Tavatanakit and Ariya Jutanugarn – but neither player is currently in contention for medals in the women’s golf tournament.
Thursday’s second-round saw world No 13 Patty fire back-to-back 71s for even-par 142 ahead of the weekend rounds at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. She was 13 shots behind American leader and word No 1 Nelly Korda, who carded a second-round 62 for a halfway total of 13-under-par 129.
Former world No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn improved from a disappointing first-round score of 77 by shooting 67 on Thursday for a total of two-over-par 144.