S Irie, who defeated Karris Artingstall of the United Kingdom by a split decision, will compete for the women’s featherweight (54-57kg) boxing gold medal.

S Irie Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

S Irie of Japan won a split decision over Karris Artingstall of Great Britain in their women’s featherweight boxing semifinal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In the three rounds at the Kokugikan Arena on August 3, both fighters were evenly matched as they fought for a chance to face Nesthy Petecio, the 29-year-old world champion from the Philippines.

S Irie Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

They both landed punches right up until the end, and neither was willing to back down. Twenty-year-old S Irie from the blue corner was declared the victor by a score of 3-2, but it was a tight call.

S Irie remarked after the match, “The opponent was quite strong, so even though I was guarding, I was being pushed back, so I believed that I had lost, but I am incredibly delighted to have won. I would have spent the rest of my life feeling guilty about a loss in the third round, so I focused on getting mentally tougher for the last round.

She said of making it to the championship round, “I honestly did not believe I would be going the final so I’m really delighted to have come this far, and now that I’ve gotten this far, I want to earn the gold.” She had to get by Maria Claudia Nechita of Romania in the quarterfinals and Khouloud Hlimi Ep Moulahi of Tunisia in the preliminary round to reach the semis.

Bronze for first-time Olympian Artingstall (red square). Before reaching the semis, she had to get by Jucielen Romeu of Brazil in the preliminary rounds and Skye Nicolson of Australia in the quarterfinals.

She commented on her bout with S Irie, saying, “I tried my best, I managed to pick it up in the second so we were level heading into the last round… There’s no point in me complaining about the outcome, given it was so close. If things had gone my way, we’d be celebrating right now.

‘My goal out here was to get myself on that podium,’ the 26-year-old said. I came to claim first place, but today was not my lucky day. Nonetheless, in Paris in 2024, I will be the one in first place.

On July 31st, the second semifinal of the women’s featherweight division took place. After losing to Petecio 4-1, Irma Testa of Italy won the second bronze medal.