Kellie Harrington has guaranteed herself an Olympic lightweight medal after beating Algeria's Imane Khelif on a unanimous decision to win bronze.

Khelif was tall, with a big reach and awkward style, but top seed Harrington was patient and found a way through the Algerian's defences.

The first round was won by Harrington with four of the five judges backing the Dubliner.

An open lace caused her to fall in the middle of the second round, but it didn't disrupt the 31-year-old as she picked off punches on her opponent. She was awarded the round by all five judges.

It meant Harrington was as good as through heading into the last round. But she delivered once more, getting the backing of all the judges, to book her progress through to the semi-final of her division.

Before the decision was announced, the Dublin boxer went back to Zaur Antia and John Conlan in the corner and told them 'I have a feeling' as the Black Eyed Peas song of the same name blasted over the PA system.

Her bronze is Ireland's fourth medal of the games after Aidan Walsh's boxing bronze, gold for the lightweight sculls pair of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan, plus bronze for the women's four in rowing.

Next up is a semi-final bout with Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee, who beat Britain's Caroline Dubois. That silver medal fight will take place at 6am Irish time on Thursday.

"I'm overwhelmed with emotions," Harrington told RTÉ Sport afterwards.

"You think of getting here and I never think of getting medals. Sometimes I think I'm lucky. I can't be that lucky to be winning all these things and end up here with a bronze medal in my bag from the Olympic Games.

"Everything I've achieved I owe to Noel Burke, who is my club coach at home. I owe it to these men [Zaur Antia and John Conlan] and the rest of the high performance team. Not only this, I owe it to my team mates, as well, for all the sparring and the preparation and support that they've give me out here - and we give each other - it's just been fantastic.

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"The support that I'm getting from the community back home ... I've heard that it's lit back home. I'm just so happy and my emotions really come [out] when it comes to this. To be able to give them something to be happy about and to sing and dance. Just for one person lifting the nation."

Of her opponent Harrington said: "Very, very awkward and throwing from real far, but making mad grunting noises. She had really long arms and it was hard to get in and do what I would like to do.

"It wasn't an amazing fight but it was a fight that I won - I did enough to win it. She was smiling at me and sticking out her tongue. I was smiling back as if to say, 'it's all fun and games until my hand gets lifted!'

"Hakuna Matata - it means no worries for the rest of your days and that's what the Lion King says!"

Dubliner keeping her distance from social media

Harrington later told reporters she is staying off social media to screen out distractions in her battle for gold, even if that prevents her from seeing messages of support from home.

She highlighted the pressures social media can place on athletes, days after US gymnast Simone Biles spoke of her mental health struggles and the difficulty of dealing with online scrutiny.

"I've gone off social media so I can't get back to anybody and answer their messages," she said.

"Sometimes people might send you a message and say 'Good luck, but you're up against it as this girl's arms are the length of Christmas'.

"And I'd be thinking 'oh God'. It makes you think then and I'd rather just stay off it."