Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fourth Paralympic title for McKillop. Walsh 8th in triathlon

Ireland's Michael McKillop was a clear winner of the T37 1500m at the Rio Paralympics today in a time of 4 mins 12.1secs

Despite recent problems with his health and a foot injury, McKillip was taking his fourth Paralympic gold for McKillop, following his  double gold at London 2012, where he won the 800m and 1500m. Four years earlier he had taken 800m gold in Beijing at the age of 18.
Michael McKillop stormed home to glory in the T37 1500m in a time of 4 mins 12.11 secs annd is already looking forward to Tokyo in four years time.

In the searing Rio sun, McKillop was pushed to his limits by Canadian Liam Stanley who shadowed him from the gun. With less than two hundred and fifty metres to go, McKillop made his break winning the race in style.

Also in action today was Dublin sprinter Orla Comerford in  the T13 100m final - her first ever Paralympic final. Comerford  finishing 8th position with a time of 12.87 seconds which was marginally slower than the 11.81 she ran in yesterday's heats. Winner was  Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova in a world record time of 11.79 seconds.

In the women's triathlon, Catherine Walsh with her pilot Fran Meehan finished eighth in 1hr 22 mins 25 secs.They  were lying tenth after after the swim, which took them 17 mins 23 secs.  On the cycle, they pulled up a place, where their lap times put them consistently into the top five.  They pulled up another place on the final 5km run. It was a sixth Paralympics for Walsh, now aged 42, who has picked up medals in athletics and cycling during a long and distinguished career.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Fifth Paraympic gold for Smyth

Jason Smyth has stormed to a third successive 100m T13 title in Rio in a time of 10.46 secs. Second was the Namibian Johannes Nambala in 10.78 with Australian Chad Perris third in 10.83. It was a fifth Paralympian gold for Smyth.

In the Aquatics Centre, 14-year-old Nicole Turner from Laois qualified for the S6 50m Butterfly final on her Paralympic Games debut.  Turner finished second in her heat in 38.44 seconds to advance in 4th place overall. In cycling, the tandem pairing of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal finished 7th in the WB Tandem Kilo in 1.12.332

In the men’s individual pursuit qualification rounds, Colin Lynch finished 5th in3.53.300 - not enough to see him through to the medal races.A fourth place for Eoghan Clifford  will see him race Sametz of Canada for the bronze medal. Table tennis player  Rena McCarron Rooney lost out to China's  Jing Liu  Jing Liu  11-9, 11-4, 11-2in hr opening Group B match.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Rio '16 Paralympics - Athletics: Irish in action (updated)


Schedule for Irish Athletes at Rio Paralympics (Times Irish and subject to change)

Jason Smyth
Day 1 - Thu Sept 8
T13 women's 1500m: Ht 2, 3 Greta Streimikyte 4:51.75 (Q)
T13 men's 100m heats, 1 Jason Smyth 10.76 (Q)
Day 2 - Fri Sept 9
T13 men's 100m final -1  Jason Smyth 10/64 secs; GOLD
Day 3 - Sat Sept 10
15.13- T13 women's 1500m final, 4 Greta Streimikyte 4:45.08 (IR)
16.02- T13 women's 100m heats, 4 Orla Comerford 12.81 secs (Q)
Day 4 - Sun Sept 11
15.00- T13 women's 100m final,  8 Orla Comerford 12.87 secs
15.20- PT5 women's triathlon - 8 Catherine Walsh /Fran Meehan 1hr 22 mins 25 secs.
15.59 - T35 men's 1500m final, 1 Michael McKillop 4:12.11; GOLD
Day 5 - Mon Sept 12
14.03- F53 shot putt 5 Deirdre Mongan 4.04.
Day 6 - Tue Sept 13 - no athletics (sailing, shooting, swimming...)
Day 7 - Wed Sept 14
15.26 - T53 men's 800m , Ht 2, Patrick Monahan dns.
Day 8 - Thu Sept 15
14.05- F57 women's discus  2 Orla Barry 30.06; SILVER
15.45- T37 men's 400m Ht 1, Paul Keogan dsq.
21.40 - F41 women's discus 2 Niamh McCarthy 26.67; SILVER

Day 9 - Fri Sept 16
14.23 - T37 men's 400m final, Paul Keogan?
Day 10 - Sat Sept 17
21.32 - F38 women's discus final, Noelle Lenihan
Day 11 - Sun Sept 18
16.30 - T53 men's marathon, 16 Patrick Monahan 1:40.26
00.00 - Closing ceremony







Friday, August 26, 2016

Ticketing Scandal: Grant Thornton to conduct OCI review


Note: So who will be paying for such a company?

"The OCI today appointed Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review of its handling of ticketing arrangements for the Rio Olympic Games.

It is intended that the review will be concluded by Monday, 10 October 2016 and it will be given to Judge Carroll Moran to consider as part of his State inquiry deliberations.

The terms of reference of the Grant Thornton review, which will be carried out by the Grant Thornton Forensic Services team, are as follows:

1.                   To review:

(a)                The policies, procedures, processes and practices adopted by The Olympic Council of Ireland (including its subsidiaries and/or agents, hereafter referred to as OCI) governing the receipt, distribution and sale of tickets (and associated revenues) allocated by the IOC/organising committee to OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and.

(b)               The policies, procedures, processes and practices, adopted by OCI, governing all accreditations allocated by OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

(c)                The implementation of those policies and procedures, and the actual processes (including any procurement process and any contract awarded by OCI, including but not limited to any contract awarded to Pro10 and THG) and practices (including any resale of any tickets as part of hospitality packages), in the case of the accreditations and tickets allocated to OCI for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and associated revenues received by OCI:

(d)               Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, to review:

(i)                 the appointment of Pro10 Sports Management as OCI's authorised ticket reseller for Rio 2016;

(ii)               the manner in which Pro10 dealt with OCI ticket allocation;

(iii)             interactions between Pro10 and THG in relation to OCI’s ticket allocation;

(iv)             OCI’s interactions with THG;

(v)               the manner in which OCI dealt with any ticket allocation directly to it;

(vi)             the manner in which OCI dealt with the local organising committee with reference to ticketing and accreditation; and

(vii)           OCI corporate governance issues arising with reference to the matters above.

2.                   Having reviewed the above matters, to prepare a report setting out the findings and recommendations of the review, which will be given to Judge Carroll Moran.



As part of the Grant Thornton review, submissions will be invited from athletes and their families on their experience of ticketing allocation and availability arrangements for Rio 2016.

The OCI is committed to a review of its wider corporate governance arrangements and will set out its intentions in this area in due course. 

Note for editor

1.      In the interests of quickly and independently establishing key facts with regard to OCI ticketing arrangements at the Rio Olympics this review will focus on the Rio Games only. However, a broader review of ticketing arrangements at previous Games may be conducted by the OCI at a later stage, as considered necessary.

2.      Grant Thornton:
“Grant Thornton is Ireland’s fastest growing professional services firm with over 1,000 staff in Ireland.  Clients choose us because the breadth of financial and business services they need is available, delivered innovatively and always to the highest standards. Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to understand complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients and help them to find solutions. More than 42,000 Grant Thornton people, across 130 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work. Grant Thornton Forensic Services forms part of the Grant Thornton Advisory team.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ticketing Scandal: Judge appointed

Another statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland's PR company

"The OCI welcomes the appointment of Judge Carroll Moran to lead the State inquiry into the distribution of tickets at the Rio Olympics and other related matters.  The OCI also notes the inquiry’s terms of reference.

"An international accountancy firm will be appointed before the weekend by the OCI to conduct a review of the ticketing arrangements for the Rio Games.

"Earlier this week a data security firm (Espion) was appointed by the OCI to secure, copy and seal the OCI server and all OCI electronic data.  All of the retrieved data will be reviewed by the soon to be appointed accountancy firm as part of its review. The findings of this review will be given to Judge Moran to be examined as part of his inquiry. 


"In media interviews today Mr Brendan Howlin T.D. stated that he was unsure if Article 32 of the OCI Articles of Association prevented the OCI from cooperating with the State inquiry. The OCI’s legal advice is that there is no impediment whatsoever to the OCI cooperating fully with the inquiry and it intends to do so."

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rio '16 - How the Irish Did


SAT AUG 6
Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  Ht 3, 2 Sanita Puspure 9:11.45.
Cycling: Men’s road race - Dan Martin 13th;  Nicholas Roche 29th.
Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 12 Padraig McCarthy ("Simon Porloe') 46.80; 13  Clare Abbott ("Europrince") 47.00, ; Irish team lying 12th
Hockey: Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, C Harte) India 3 (RP Singh 2, VR Raghunath)
Swimming: Men's breaststroke Ht 2, 4 Nicholas Quinn dnq.
Gymnastics: Men all round - 38th Kieran Behan 83.232. Parallel bars - 53rd, 14.000; floor - 33rd, 14.333; rings - 42nd, 14.133; pommel horse- 64th, 12.866.

SUN AUG 7
Gymnastics: Women all round- 57 Ellis O’Reilly  47.232. Floor 79th, 11.666; beam 79th, 10.700; uneven bars 71st, 12.300.

Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 6 Jonty Evans ("Cooley Rorkey's Drift")41.80;Mark Kyle ("Jemilla") 50.40 (discard; 3 scores to count); Ireland 5th.
Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women's Ht 3,  2 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:10.91; men's Ht1,   Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:23.72

Boxing: 69kg - rd of 32: Steven Donnelly(8) bt Zohir Kedache (Algeria).60kg - rd  of 32:  David Oliver Joyce bt Andrique Allisop (Seychelles). 
Swimming: Women's 100m breaststroke Ht 6, 8 Fiona Doyle 1:07.58 (20th overall); men's100m backstroke Ht3,  4 Shane Ryan 53.85 (IR; q)
Hockey: Gp B- Netherlands 5, Ireland 0.

MON AUG 8
Swimming: Men's 100m backstroke SF1, 8  Shane Ryan 54.40; 16th overall
Equestrian: Eventing (cross-country) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy; team 6th.
Boxing: 49kg round of 16 - Paddy Barnes (4) lost to Samuel Carmona  Heredia (Spain) 29-28, 28-29, 28-29.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy 1st race, 1st; 2nd race 13th ; Laser (men) race 1;  and 2 - Finn Lynch


TUE AUG 9
Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  QF4, 4 Sanita Puspure 7:28.68.
Equestrian: Eventing (show jumping) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy. Team 8th overall. Individual eventing - 89 Evans 64.40, 33 Kyle 109.20, 37 Abbott 112.50; elim McCarthy.
Hockey: Gp B- Germany 3  Ireland 2.
Swimming: Men’s 200m Breaststroke Ht 1, 1 Nicholas Quinn 2:11.67; 19th overall
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) Annalise Murphy 4th race 3; 7th race 4; lying 2nd. Laser (Men) Finn Lynch 15th race 3, 40th race 4; lying 24th.
Boxing: 60kg round of 16 - David Oliver Joyce lost to  Albert Selimova(2)(Azebaijan; formerly Russia))

WED AUG 10
Rowing: Postponed due to wind - Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s SF Paul/Gary O’Donovan.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) -Annalise Murphy  race 5, 5th; race 6, 2nd; lying 1st. Laser (men) -Finn Lynch race 5, 18th; race 6 27th.
Swimming: Women's 200m breast stroke , Ht 2, 2,  Fiona Doyle 2:29.76; 25th overall.
23:15
Boxing: 81kg round of 16 - Joe Ward (4) lost to Carlos Andrea Mina (Ecuador)

THU AUG 11
 Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF  A/B2, 3, Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:18.24;  men’s SF A/B1, 3  Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:35.70.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P - Chloe Magee lost to Yihan Wang (China)(2) 7-21, 12-21.
Equestrian: Dressage  Q- 21  Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 24.7
Golf: Men’s rd 1, Padraig Harrington 70 (-1); Seamus Power 71 (par).
Rowing: Women’s single sculls C/D final - 1  Sanita Puspure 7:53:48; 13th overall.  
Hockey: Gp B-Ireland 4, Canada 2 
Boxing: 69kg rd of 16 Steven Donnelly(8) bt Byambyn Tuvshinbat (Mon), split dec.
Swimming: Men's 50m freestyle, ht3, 3 Shane Ryan 22.88 secs.

FRI AUG 12
Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s final: 6 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s final: 2 Paul/Gary O’Donovan SILVER
Equestrian: Dressage - Grand Prix Special last 32: Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 74.090 (top 18; q Freestyle final)
Golf: Men's Rd 2 - =4th, Seamus Power 67 (10th overall); =31 Padraig Harrington 71 (=22nd overall).
Athletics: Men's 800m - Ht 6, 3rd Mark English 1:46.40 (Q). Men's 20k walk - 46th, Alex Wright 1:25.25.
Mark English
 Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Marc Zwiebler (Swi) 9-12, 21-17, 21-7
Sailing : Men's 49er (skiff)-  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 1, 14th; Race 2 2nd (5th overall). Women's 49er FX (skiff) - Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 1 8th; Race 2 3rd; Race3 6th (5th overall). 
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 7, 18th; race 8, 12th (3rd overall; 44 pts).Laser (men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 7, 33rd; Race 8 30th (29th overall).
Hockey: Gp B- Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, S O’Donoghue) Argentina 3 (G Peillat 2, J Saladino)


SAT AUG 13
Athletics: Women’s 1500m  - H1, 2 Ciara Mageean 4:11.51.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P, Chloe Magee lost to Karin Schnaase (Ger) 14-21, 19-21.
11:30 Golf: Men's Rd 3 - Padraig Harrington, Seamus Power
Kerry O'Flaherty
Athletics: Women's 3,000m steeplechase - Ht 1 (17 starters), 14th, Kerry O’Flaherty 9:45.35 (SB); Ht 2 (18 starters), 11th Michele Finn 9:49.45; Ht 3 (17 starters), 12th, Sara Treacy 9:46.24 (after a fall; Q for final).
Cycling: Women’s kierin - Shannon McCurley: Rd 1, Ht 4, 5th; Repechage 4, 4th. 
Boxing: 52kg rd of 32  - Brendan Irvine lost to Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) 0-3. 69kg QF Steven Donnelly(8) lost to Mohammed Rabii (Mor); split decision.
Sailing: Men’s 49er race - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 4, 1st; Race 5 14th; Race 6 19th; 4th overall, 35 pts. Women’s 49er FX -  Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 4 18th; Race 513th; Race 6
Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 9, 6th; Race 10 7th ; 3rd overall 57 pts. Laser (Men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 9, 40th; Race 10 bdf; 32nd overall.
Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Ygor Oliviera (Bra) 21-18, 19-21, 21-8; Q last 16.

SUN AUG 14
Athletics: 800m SF3, 5 Mark English 1:45.93.
Golf: Men's final rd (after 72 holes) - =14 Seamus Power -5; -=21 Padraig Harrington -3
Scott Evans
Athletics: Women’s marathon - 20 Fionnuala McCormack 2:31.22 (PB); 57 Lizzie Lee 2:39.57,  76 Breege Connolly 2:44.41.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 1, 36 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 8 faults.
Boxing: 56kg round of 16 - Michael Conlan(1) bt Aram Avagyan (Armenia) 3-0.

MON AUG 15
Athletics: Women’s 1500m SF1, 11 Ciara Mageean 4:08.07.
Equestrian: Dressage - Freestyle final Judy Reynolds ('Vancouver K') 18th, 75.696%
Boxing: Women’s 60kg QF - Katie Taylor (1) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland)
Athletics: Women's steeplechase final - 17 Sara Treacy 9:52.70.  Men's 400m hurdles Ht 4, 2 Thomas
Barr 48.93 secs (SB).
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - Annalise Murphy. POSTPONED until tomorrow.
Men’s 49er  - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 7, 13th; Race 8, 7th; Race 9, 13th; 7th overall. Women’s 49er FX- Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 7, 19th; Race 8, 6th, Race 9,19th; 12th overall.
Badminton: Men's singles last 16: Scott Evans lost to Viktor Axelsen (Den; WR 4)16-21,12.21,
 Diving: Men’s 3m spring-board preliminary - Oliver Dingley 399.80 from  6 dives - Scores: 66, 74, 61.2, 72, 48, 78.2; 13th overall. Top 18 to SF.

TUE AUG 16
Athletics: Women's pole vault qualifiers -  Gr B, 15 Tori Pena 4.30m.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 2,  50 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 13 faults; top 45 to Rd 3.
Diving SF: Men’s 3m springboard Oliver Dingley 414.25 from six dives - scores: 69.75, 7210, 64.50, 64.50, 67.50, 71.10. Final - 8th (74.40, 81.60, 76.50, 69.00, 61.50, 79.90)
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - 5 Annalise Murphy; 2nd overall -SILVER. 
Men’s 49er -  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 10, 19th; Race 11, 20th; Race 12, 1st; 8th overall (top 10 to medal race). Women’s 49er FX -Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 10, 18th; Race 11, 13th; Race 12, 12th; 12th overall.
Boxing: 56kg QF - Michael Conlan(1) lost to  Vladimir Nikitin (Rus)0-3

WED AUG 17
Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles SF - 1 Thomas Barr 48.39 secs (Irish record). Women's 800m Rd 1, 8 Ciara Everard 2:07.91.
Golf: Women’s Rd 1 - Leona Maguire 74 (3 over par), Stephanie Meadow 77 (6 over par)

THU AUG 18
Golf: Women’s Rd 2 - =3 (=22nd overall; -3)Leona Maguire , 65 (6 under par); =5 (=38th overall) Stephanie Meadow, 66 (+1).
Modern Pentathlon: Women's event - Prelim Fencing: 12 Natalya Coyle 214. 18:30  Men's event - Fencing: 25 Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe196.
Triathlon: Men’s race - 40 Bryan Keane 1:52.09
Sailing: 49er medal race - 9 Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern18.
Athletics: 400m hurdles final - 4 Thomas Barr 47.97 secs (Irish record)

FRI AUG 19
Golf: Women’s Rd 3 - =13 Stephanie Meadow 70 (-1);+1 overall; =31 Leona Maguire 74 (+3); 0 overall.
Mick Clohisey
Athletics: 50k walk: 6 Rob Heffernan 3:43.55, 19 Brendan Boyce 3:53.59; Alex Wright dnf (30km)
Modern pentathlon - women: 7 Natalya Coyle 1325 pts. Swim Ht 4,  4th, 2:17.38; 23rd overall; showjumping??; combined run/shoot??.

SAT AUG 20
Golf: Women’s final round - 21 Leona Maguire 69, =31 Stephanie Meadow 72. Overall: Maguire 282 (74,65,74,69); Meadow 286 (66,70,72
Triathlon: Women’s race - 21  Aileen Reid
Modern pentathlon - Men: 8 Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe 1457.

SUN AUG 21
Athletics: Men’s marathon - 31 Paul Pollock 2:16.24; 64 Kevin Seaward 2:20.06, 103 Mick Clohisey 2:26:34
Closing ceremony

OCI set up "crisis management sub-committee"

22/8/16 - Another statement from the PR company employed by the Olympic Council of Ireland:

"This evening the Executive Committee of the Olympic Council of Ireland met for the first time in person since the Games began in Rio.  The Committee discussed recent events in Rio regarding ticketing arrangements at the Games which it takes very seriously.
"The Executive Committee made the following decisions:
·         They appointed a three person crisis management subcommittee to lead the Council’s response to the recent events in Rio. This group comprises Sarah Keane (Swim Ireland), Prof Ciaran O Cathain (Athletics Ireland) and Robert Norwood (Snowsports Association of Ireland).
·         The subcommittee will appoint an international accountancy firm to conduct an independent review of ticketing arrangements in Rio. The firm will be selected this week and its work will begin immediately and its terms of reference will be published.
·         The report prepared by the firm will be presented to the judge who will chair the State inquiry into the OCI’s handling of ticketing at the Rio Olympics."

Here are the questions I want answered:
* Are athletes who qualify for an Olympics entitled to an allocation of tickets for their family and friends?
* Why are there questions marks over the OCI's allocation of tickets dating back - at least - to 1996?
* What happens to tickets left over after families have received their allocation?
* Is it really necessary to set up a company to allocate no more than 1,000 tickets to family members and OCI  insiders? Surely someone in the Howth HQ of the OCI could have managed that?

Here's what we know:
* To get tickets, families contacted a company called PR10, set up in May 2015.
*They had little or no luck getting tickets and ended up buying what they needed online from the Rio  organisers.
*Tickets allocated to the OCI for families/friends ended up in the hands of THG, a company banned from selling  Rio tickets, who were organising "hospitality" packages for the Games. These "packages" included tickets which they had to acquire from somewhere.
* Before the 2014 football World Cup, Brazil police arrested the chief executive of THG, James Sinton, claiming he was part of a “ticketing mafia”. When given bail, he - allegedly - absconded, which is probably the main reason Pat Hickey is being treated so harshly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Olympic Council Agrees to Inquiry

Another statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland's PR company:

18.25 (Dublin Time)

"The Board of the Olympic Council of Ireland regrets that recent events in Brazil have overshadowed the many great performances of Team Ireland at the Rio Olympic Games. With 11 top 10 finishes at this stage, this has been one of the most successful performances at an Olympic Games by an Irish team.
The Board is taking the recent events in Rio very seriously and wishes to state the following:

•             A top priority of the Board is supporting the current Irish athletes and teams in Brazil.

•             The Board has no further comment on the charges against Mr Hickey who is receiving his own legal advice and is entitled to natural justice and due process.

 •             Independent legal advisors Arthur Cox have been appointed to advise the board of the OCI.

 •         As referenced in a statement earlier the Board will co-operate fully with a State inquiry and it will now appoint an external independent firm to carry out a review.

The Board has not had an opportunity to meet in person to discuss events in Rio due to the ongoing Games, however, it will meet this weekend and a further statement will be issued in due course."

Here is the list of board members:
1st VP Willie O’Brien (archery)
2nd VP John Delaney (FAI)
Hon Gen Sec Dermot Heneghan (rowing)
Hon Treasurer Kevin Kilty (shooting)
Executive member Ciaran O Cathain (athletics)
Executive member Sarah Keane (swimming)
Committee members:
Billy Kennedy (cycling)
Tommy Murphy (boxing)
Robert Norwood (snowsports)
Sonia O’Sullivan (athletics)
Tom Rafter (fencing)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hickey Out of Hospital

Latest statement from Olympic Council of Ireland:
"The Olympic Council of Ireland can confirm that Pat Hickey has been discharged from hospital and has been accompanied to a police station to complete a deposition."

Note: The case seems to be that the Pro10 company, the current authorised Irish ticket re-seller, based in Lucan, was a front for THC, the authorised Irish ticket re-seller for London 2012 and Sochi 2014, which was not authorised to sell tickets for Rio, and instead began selling "hospitality packages" which included Olympic tickets.  Of the 1,000 tickets seized in Rio, 781 came from the OCI's allocation for members and the families of selected athletes. Quite how this happened - especially when family members resorted to buying their own tickets directly when they failed to make any progress with Pro10 - is the nub of the matter.
Hickey is accused of ticket touting, forming a cartel/conspiracy to defraud, and ambush marketing.
*A quick check of the Companies Office register reveals that Pro10 was registered on 20 May 2015, just 15 months before the Rio Games. The application was received on 12 May 2015.

Barr Goes under 48 seconds and just misses out on medal

Thomas Barr of Ferrybank smashed his own Irish record when he finished fourth in the 400m hurdles final in 47.97 secs.
Barr was back in about fifth place coming into the finish, but "kicked like an absolute animal "to claw his way to fourth place, with only quarter of a second separating the top four. At the age of 24, Barr will be the one to watch at next year's World Championships.
"If it had been a 405m race, maybe I could have sneaked it!", he said after.

FINISHING  40th in the triathlon was Bryan Keane in a time of  1hrs 52 mins 09 secs. Keane was 38th out of the water and in the first chase pack, but fell back on the cycle, heading off on the run in 45th place. He had pulled himself up to 43rd place after the first of four laps and continued to improve. Up front, Britain's Alastair Brownlee successfully defended the title he won in London four years ago. His younger brother Jonathan was second - up from bronze four years ago.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hickey Steps Aside

This statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland just in:

A warrant of arrest for OCI President Pat Hickey was issued this morning by Brazilian authorities. Contrary to reports, Mr Hickey complied fully with the terms of the warrant. Mr Hickey was taken ill as this warrant was served and was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

In light of this morning’s developments and his ill health, Mr Hickey has taken the decision to step aside temporarily as President of the OCI and all other Olympic functions (IOC member in Ireland, EOC President, ANOC Vice President) until this matter is fully resolved. Mr Hickey will of course continue to cooperate and assist with all ongoing enquiries.

Aileen Gaskin
Account Manager
The Communications Clinic
The Old Synagogue,
37 Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2

... and later:
Olympic Council of Ireland Statement
17 August 2016, 22.20

Mr Patrick Hickey has been admitted to Samaritano Hospital for investigation of chest pain. His condition is stable. In view of his previous cardiac history he will remain in hospital for a further 24 hours.
*The Communications Clinic is run by Terry Prone and her son Anton Savage who is also a radio presenter.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sara Treacy into steeplechase final after appeal

Sara Treacy, who was tripped  and fell in the third qualifying heat today,  has been added to the line-out for Monday's final after an appeal.
Treacy was  catching the leaders about six minutes in  her race when she one of a number of athletes to take a fall after Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro lost her footing. Diro, Jamaica's Aisha Praught and Treacy all appealed successfully to be included in the final.
Treacy, who stepped sideways to avoid the carnage and then tripped and fell, quickly picked her self up and raced on to finish 12th of th e17 starters  in 9 mins 46.24 secs.
Treacy was the last of the Irish trio to take to the track and was going well before disaster struck. But she bravely picked herself up and still registered a 12th place finish in 9.46.24.
Earlier in the day, Kerry O’Flaherty ran a season’s best 9:45.35 for 14th of 17 starters in the opening heat. In th esecond heat which had 18 starters, Michelle Finn  finished 11th in 9:49.45.  The top three in each heat and the six fastest losers progressed, with no semi-finals on offer.
*Pretty good day for the Irish - sailor Annalise Murphy is into Monday's Laser Radial gold medal race, lying in third position, while Scott Evans  beat the Brazilian Ygor Oliviera in Group K to make the last 16 in badminton's men's singles - the best ever result by an Irish badminton player.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rio '16: Seye Ogunlewe - the Nigerian who almost ran for Ireland

Remember Seye Ogunlewe?
In 2009 and 2010,  the Nigerian-born Seye, who was a pupil at the King's Hospital in Palmerstown,  won sprints titles at the All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore.
It looked - briefly - as if he would sign up for Ireland when he recorded a  200m qualifying time  of 21. 50 secs for the World Junior Championships. However his application for a passport was delayed and he contacted an old school teacher in Lagos who was associated with Nigerian athletics. In the end,  he didn't make the World Juniors for either country.
Mark Kavanagh, Seye Ogunlewe, Richard Okaje Agha. senior  200m.
With a father who was a former  Minister of Works, Seye's family was adamant that sport and education must go hand in hand.  So it was that after his two years in Ireland,  Seye embarked on a degree course in  law and politics at the University of Essex. He continues to live and train in England  where is is coached by Prince Dewai and is a member of Newham and Essex Beagles.
While a student, Seye competed regularly at BUCS competitions, winning his first medal in 2011, when he took silver in the 60m at the BUCS Indoor Championships. After two more silvers in 2012 and 2014, he finally won the title in 2015. He also won the BUCS 100m in 2013; in 2014, he placed second behind Adam Gemili. In 2012, he won the 60m at the Woodies DIY Irish Indoors in Belfast with a time of 6.79 secs.
Seye  ran the 200m for Nigeria at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he finished fourth in his heat. In 2015,  after winning the Nigerian 100m title, he competing at the All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, making the 100m final and running the anchor leg for Nigeria in the 4 x 100m; the team finished second but was disqualified for a bungled baton change.
Earlier this year, aged 24 and with his studies behind him, he successfully defended his national 100m title running a personal best time of 10.12 seconds and booked his place on the Nigerian team for the Rio Olympics. Most recently, he ran 10.17 secs for 100m at the Lee Valley Summer Sprint Series Open.
Seye is just one of five King's Hospital past pupils on the Irish squad for Rio '16. The other four are steeplechaser Sara Treacy, modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle (who both competed in the tetrathlon as youngsters), dressage rider Judy Reynolds and  Camilla Speirs, who is the reserve for the eventing team. St Andrew's has four past pupils in Rio, all of them on the men's hockey team.
Update: Seye finished 4th in Heat 1 of the 100m. His time of 10.26 secs, putting him 34th fastest overall.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rio '16 - Irish Interest Summary - Complete


SAT AUG 6
Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  Ht 3, 2 Sanita Puspure 9:11.45.
Cycling: Men’s road race - Dan Martin 13th;  Nicholas Roche 29th.
Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 12 Padraig McCarthy ("Simon Porloe') 46.80; 13  Clare Abbott ("Europrince") 47.00, ; Irish team lying 12th
Hockey: Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, C Harte) India 3 (RP Singh 2, VR Raghunath)
Swimming: Men's breaststroke Ht 2, 4 Nicholas Quinn dnq.
Gymnastics: Men all round - 38th Kieran Behan 83.232. Parallel bars - 53rd, 14.000; floor - 33rd, 14.333; rings - 42nd, 14.133; pommel horse- 64th, 12.866.

SUN AUG 7
Gymnastics: Women all round- 57 Ellis O’Reilly  47.232. Floor 79th, 11.666; beam 79th, 10.700; uneven bars 71st, 12.300.

Equestrian: Eventing (dressage) - 6 Jonty Evans ("Cooley Rorkey's Drift")41.80;Mark Kyle ("Jemilla") 50.40 (discard; 3 scores to count); Ireland 5th.
Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women's Ht 3,  2 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:10.91; men's Ht1,   Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:23.72

Boxing: 69kg - rd of 32: Steven Donnelly(8) bt Zohir Kedache (Algeria).60kg - rd  of 32:  David Oliver Joyce bt Andrique Allisop (Seychelles). 
Swimming: Women's 100m breaststroke Ht 6, 8 Fiona Doyle 1:07.58 (20th overall); men's100m backstroke Ht3,  4 Shane Ryan 53.85 (IR; q)
Hockey: Gp B- Netherlands 5, Ireland 0.

MON AUG 8
Swimming: Men's 100m backstroke SF1, 8  Shane Ryan 54.40; 16th overall
Equestrian: Eventing (cross-country) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy; team 6th.
Boxing: 49kg round of 16 - Paddy Barnes (4) lost to Samuel Carmona  Heredia (Spain) 29-28, 28-29, 28-29.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy 1st race, 1st; 2nd race 13th ; Laser (men) race 1;  and 2 - Finn Lynch


TUE AUG 9
Rowing: Women’s single sculls -  QF4, 4 Sanita Puspure 7:28.68.
Equestrian: Eventing (show jumping) - Clare Abbott, Jonty Evans, Mark Kyle, Padraig McCarthy. Team 8th overall. Individual eventing - 89 Evans 64.40, 33 Kyle 109.20, 37 Abbott 112.50; elim McCarthy.
Hockey: Gp B- Germany 3  Ireland 2.
Swimming: Men’s 200m Breaststroke Ht 1, 1 Nicholas Quinn 2:11.67; 19th overall
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) Annalise Murphy 4th race 3; 7th race 4; lying 2nd. Laser (Men) Finn Lynch 15th race 3, 40th race 4; lying 24th.
Boxing: 60kg round of 16 - David Oliver Joyce lost to  Albert Selimova(2)(Azebaijan; formerly Russia))

WED AUG 10
Rowing: Postponed due to wind - Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s SF Paul/Gary O’Donovan.
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) -Annalise Murphy  race 5, 5th; race 6, 2nd; lying 1st. Laser (men) -Finn Lynch race 5, 18th; race 6 27th.
Swimming: Women's 200m breast stroke , Ht 2, 2,  Fiona Doyle 2:29.76; 25th overall.
23:15
Boxing: 81kg round of 16 - Joe Ward (4) lost to Carlos Andrea Mina (Ecuador)

THU AUG 11
 Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s SF  A/B2, 3, Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe 7:18.24;  men’s SF A/B1, 3  Paul/Gary O’Donovan 6:35.70.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P - Chloe Magee lost to Yihan Wang (China)(2) 7-21, 12-21.
Equestrian: Dressage  Q- 21  Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 24.7
Golf: Men’s rd 1, Padraig Harrington 70 (-1); Seamus Power 71 (par).
Rowing: Women’s single sculls C/D final - 1  Sanita Puspure 7:53:48; 13th overall.  
Hockey: Gp B-Ireland 4, Canada 2 
Boxing: 69kg rd of 16 Steven Donnelly(8) bt Byambyn Tuvshinbat (Mon), split dec.
Swimming: Men's 50m freestyle, ht3, 3 Shane Ryan 22.88 secs.

FRI AUG 12
Rowing: Lightweight double sculls - women’s final: 6 Sinead Jennings/Claire Lambe; men’s final: 2 Paul/Gary O’Donovan SILVER
Equestrian: Dressage - Grand Prix Special last 32: Judy Reynolds ("Vancouver K") 74.090 (top 18; q Freestyle final)
Golf: Men's Rd 2 - =4th, Seamus Power 67 (10th overall); =31 Padraig Harrington 71 (=22nd overall).
Athletics: Men's 800m - Ht 6, 3rd Mark English 1:46.40 (Q). Men's 20k walk - 46th, Alex Wright 1:25.25.
Mark English
 Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Marc Zwiebler (Swi) 9-12, 21-17, 21-7
Sailing : Men's 49er (skiff)-  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 1, 14th; Race 2 2nd (5th overall). Women's 49er FX (skiff) - Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 1 8th; Race 2 3rd; Race3 6th (5th overall). 
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 7, 18th; race 8, 12th (3rd overall; 44 pts).Laser (men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 7, 33rd; Race 8 30th (29th overall).
Hockey: Gp B- Ireland 2 (J Jermyn, S O’Donoghue) Argentina 3 (G Peillat 2, J Saladino)


SAT AUG 13
Athletics: Women’s 1500m  - H1, 2 Ciara Mageean 4:11.51.
Badminton: Women’s singles Gp P, Chloe Magee lost to Karin Schnaase (Ger) 14-21, 19-21.
11:30 Golf: Men's Rd 3 - Padraig Harrington, Seamus Power
Kerry O'Flaherty
Athletics: Women's 3,000m steeplechase - Ht 1 (17 starters), 14th, Kerry O’Flaherty 9:45.35 (SB); Ht 2 (18 starters), 11th Michele Finn 9:49.45; Ht 3 (17 starters), 12th, Sara Treacy 9:46.24 (after a fall; Q for final).
Cycling: Women’s kierin - Shannon McCurley: Rd 1, Ht 4, 5th; Repechage 4, 4th. 
Boxing: 52kg rd of 32  - Brendan Irvine lost to Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) 0-3. 69kg QF Steven Donnelly(8) lost to Mohammed Rabii (Mor); split decision.
Sailing: Men’s 49er race - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 4, 1st; Race 5 14th; Race 6 19th; 4th overall, 35 pts. Women’s 49er FX -  Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 4 18th; Race 513th; Race 6
Laser Radial (women) - Annalise Murphy: Race 9, 6th; Race 10 7th ; 3rd overall 57 pts. Laser (Men)  - Finn Lynch: Race 9, 40th; Race 10 bdf; 32nd overall.
Badminton: Men’s singles Gp K, Scott Evans bt Ygor Oliviera (Bra) 21-18, 19-21, 21-8; Q last 16.

SUN AUG 14
Athletics: 800m SF3, 5 Mark English 1:45.93.
Golf: Men's final rd (after 72 holes) - =14 Seamus Power -5; -=21 Padraig Harrington -3
Scott Evans
Athletics: Women’s marathon - 20 Fionnuala McCormack 2:31.22 (PB); 57 Lizzie Lee 2:39.57,  76 Breege Connolly 2:44.41.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 1, 36 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 8 faults.
Boxing: 56kg round of 16 - Michael Conlan(1) bt Aram Avagyan (Armenia) 3-0.

MON AUG 15
Athletics: Women’s 1500m SF1, 11 Ciara Mageean 4:08.07.
Equestrian: Dressage - Freestyle final Judy Reynolds ('Vancouver K') 18th, 75.696%
Boxing: Women’s 60kg QF - Katie Taylor (1) lost to Mira Potkonen (Finland)
Athletics: Women's steeplechase final - 17 Sara Treacy 9:52.70.  Men's 400m hurdles Ht 4, 2 Thomas
Barr 48.93 secs (SB).
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - Annalise Murphy. POSTPONED until tomorrow.
Men’s 49er  - Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 7, 13th; Race 8, 7th; Race 9, 13th; 7th overall. Women’s 49er FX- Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 7, 19th; Race 8, 6th, Race 9,19th; 12th overall.
Badminton: Men's singles last 16: Scott Evans lost to Viktor Axelsen (Den; WR 4)16-21,12.21,
 Diving: Men’s 3m spring-board preliminary - Oliver Dingley 399.80 from  6 dives - Scores: 66, 74, 61.2, 72, 48, 78.2; 13th overall. Top 18 to SF.

TUE AUG 16
Athletics: Women's pole vault qualifiers -  Gr B, 15 Tori Pena 4.30m.
Equestrian: Individual show-jumping qualifier -  Rd 2,  50 Greg Broderick ("MHS Going Global") 13 faults; top 45 to Rd 3.
Diving SF: Men’s 3m springboard Oliver Dingley 414.25 from six dives - scores: 69.75, 7210, 64.50, 64.50, 67.50, 71.10. Final - 8th (74.40, 81.60, 76.50, 69.00, 61.50, 79.90)
Sailing: Laser Radial (women) medal races - 5 Annalise Murphy; 2nd overall -SILVER. 
Men’s 49er -  Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern: Race 10, 19th; Race 11, 20th; Race 12, 1st; 8th overall (top 10 to medal race). Women’s 49er FX -Andrea Brewster/Saskia Tidey: Race 10, 18th; Race 11, 13th; Race 12, 12th; 12th overall.
Boxing: 56kg QF - Michael Conlan(1) lost to  Vladimir Nikitin (Rus)0-3

WED AUG 17
Athletics: Men's 400m hurdles SF - 1 Thomas Barr 48.39 secs (Irish record). Women's 800m Rd 1, 8 Ciara Everard 2:07.91.
Golf: Women’s Rd 1 - Leona Maguire 74 (3 over par), Stephanie Meadow 77 (6 over par)

THU AUG 18
Golf: Women’s Rd 2 - =3 (=22nd overall; -3)Leona Maguire , 65 (6 under par); =5 (=38th overall) Stephanie Meadow, 66 (+1).
Modern Pentathlon: Women's event - Prelim Fencing: 12 Natalya Coyle 214. 18:30  Men's event - Fencing: 25 Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe196.
Triathlon: Men’s race - 40 Bryan Keane 1:52.09
Sailing: 49er medal race - 9 Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern18.
Athletics: 400m hurdles final - 4 Thomas Barr 47.97 secs (Irish record)

FRI AUG 19
Golf: Women’s Rd 3 - =13 Stephanie Meadow 70 (-1);+1 overall; =31 Leona Maguire 74 (+3); 0 overall.
Mick Clohisey
Athletics: 50k walk: 6 Rob Heffernan 3:43.55, 19 Brendan Boyce 3:53.59; Alex Wright dnf (30km)
Modern pentathlon - women: 7 Natalya Coyle 1325 pts. Swim Ht 4,  4th, 2:17.38; 23rd overall; showjumping??; combined run/shoot??.

SAT AUG 20
Golf: Women’s final round - 21 Leona Maguire 69, =31 Stephanie Meadow 72. Overall: Maguire 282 (74,65,74,69); Meadow 286 (66,70,72
Triathlon: Women’s race - 21  Aileen Reid
Modern pentathlon - Men: 8 Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe 1457.

SUN AUG 21
Athletics: Men’s marathon - 31 Paul Pollock 2:16.24; 64 Kevin Seaward 2:20.06, 103 Mick Clohisey 2:26:34
Closing ceremony

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rio '16: Northern Irish competing for Team GB

Ireland has sent 77 athletes to Rio (51 men, 26 women) in 13 sports, with 21 of them coming from Northern Ireland.
In addition, eight Northern Irish athletes  have made Team GB, all but one of them in hockey or rowing. These are:
Hockey:
David Ames
Mark Gleghorne (brother Paul in Irish squad)
Iain Lewers
Ian Sloan
Gp A: GB 1, Belgium 4; GB 2, New Zealand 2; GB 9, Brazil 1; GB 1, Australia 2; GB 1, Spain 1. Fifth in group; failed to advance.
Rowing:
Alan Campbell- Single sculls: Ht 4, 1st 7:08.31; QF4, 2nd 6:49.41; SFA/B3, 4th, 7:09.54
Peter Chambers - coxless lightweight fours: Ht 2,  2nd, 6:01.27; SF2, 4th 6:10.46; B final: 1st, 6:31.54; 7th overall
Richard Chambers - lightweight double sculls (with W Fletcher): Ht 4, 2nd, 6:25,62; SFA/B1, 4 6:38.76 (Donovans 3rd)
Archery:
Patrick Huston - Ranking rd, 38th, 656; rd of 64 - Huston 6, Rick van der Ven (Ded) 4; round of 32 - Huston 0, Ku Bon Chan (Sth Kor) 6.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rio '16: Eventing team begin epic journey to Deodora

Ireland's eventing team has begun the the task of getting five horses, their equipment and support staff to Brazil  Equestrian  to Rio.
The team finished finished fifth at the London Games of 2012 and the goal for 2016 is to win Ireland a medal  in eventing for the first time since equestrian sport became part of the Olympics in 1912.
Equestrian team leader Triona Connors has already arrived in Rio and  the team is currently in Waresley Park Stud, Cambridgeshire in the UK forfinal last minute training with dressage coach Ian Woodhead and show jumping coach Gerry Flynn.
Only after team vet Hugh Suffern has inspected all the horses and assured himself that they are fit to travel will they set off. Team farrier Nigel Perrott will also be in attendance ensuring all horses feet are in order. Eventing team manager Nick Turner and the five Irish grooms will leave for Rio from London Heathrow, to arrive at the Olympic venue before the horses arrive on Friday evening.
Tomorrow morning, 2.5 tonnes of equipment, feed and forage will be collected from Waresley Park Stud and transported to Stansted Airport where it will be loaded onto an Emirates cargo flight. All equipment is due to clear customs in Rio in time to make it to the equestrian venue in Deodora, Brazil before the horses arrive.
Nick Turner
On Friday at 7am, the horses leave Waresley Park for Heathrow where they will board the Olympic flight to Rio. Horses from other countries will also be on specifically chartered flight.The horses are due to land in Rio at 3.20pm local time on Friday.
Later that day at 5pm,  the five Irish squad riders fly from Heathrow airport to Frankfurt, connecting to Rio.
The eventing competition begins with dressage on Saturday August 6/Sunday August 7, with  the cross-country on Monday, August 8t and the show Jumping on Tuesday, August 9.
The Irish eventing team consists of: Clare Abbott with Europrince (ISH), a 2003 chestnut gelding; Jonty Evans with Cooley Rorke’s Drift (ISH), a  2006 gelding; Mark Kyle with Jemilla, (SHBGB). a 2006 bay mare andPadraig McCarthy with Simon Porloe (PZHK) a 2000 bay gelding.Travelling reserve is Camilla Speirs with Portersize Just A Jiff (ISH) a 2000 bay gelding.

Rio'16: Sailors Set Off

Ireland's six-strong Rio Olympics sailing squad set off for Brazil today, with the opening event in the sailing programme set to begin in just two weeks’ time.
Included in the team are Olympic veterans like Annalise Murphy who narrowly missed out on a medal four years ago in London when she finished fourth, and newcomers like Finn Lynch, who at 20 is the youngest ever Irish helm.  Both go in single-handed Laser boats, and will be the first of the Irish sailors  to take to the water on Monday August 8
Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern compete in the men's 49er and Andrea Brewster with Saskia Tidey in the women's 49erFX.
Seaton and McGovern, who competed in London 2012, will be aiming to capitalise on a number of strong showings in the build-up to Rio. Leading the class are the four-times world champions from New Zealand. Brewster and Tidey survived a scare earlier this year when they were forced to take a three-month injury break to qualify for Rio.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The late Freddie Gilroy

Boxing legend Freddie Gilroy  has died at the age of  80. The Belfast bantamweight, a member of the St John Bosco club,  won a bronze medal  at  the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
Gilroy knocked out Boris Stepanov of the USSR and beat the Italian Mario Sitro on his way to the semi-finals where he was controversially beaten by the eventaul champion Wolfgang Behrendt of German.
After turning pro,  Gilroy won British, Commonwealth and European titles and in 1960, lost on points to France's Alphonse Halimi in a world bantamweight title decider.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Celebrating our Paralypian pioneers

One of Ireland’s first ever Paralympic athletes, Oliver Murphy, will be honoured at the Paralympics Ireland More Than Sport fundraising ball  tomorrow, Saturday July 2.

The marks 57 years to the day since an accident at work decided the course of his life.

“An accident at work that night left me with a broken spine. I nearly died a number of times as I was taken to hospital. The medical staff did a great job on me, thank God, as I very nearly wouldn’t have been here today,' he says.

“Thankfully though, I pulled through and while I had to adjust to life in a wheelchair I had, and still have, incredible support from family and friends.”

Just one year later he, along with Fr Leo Close, Jack Kerrigan, Joan Horan and Jimmy Levins, travelled to Rome for the 1960 Paralympic Games – a Games that would kickstart paralympic sport in Ireland.

It was after those games that Murphy and his team mates founded the Irish Wheelchair Association - an organisation that would change the Irish sporting landscape of Ireland  forever.

“We came home from Rome that year after an incredible time. From there, we formed the IWA and focused primarily on promoting sport. It was all about letting people know that they could take part in sport no matter what.”

Murphy will be honoured, alongside fellow Paralympic athlete Anne Ebbs, on Saturday night as part of a new Paralympic Recognition Programme. All the Paralympic athletes who have represented Ireland at the games over the years will receive a unique number and pin to recognise their achievement.  Murphy will receive the number one pin this coming weekend and Anne Ebbs the number 22, while a special event to recognise all Irish Paralympic athletes since 1960 will take place next year in 2017.

Anne Ebbs, a Paralympic athlete who represented Ireland at the Paralympic Games from 1972 to 1984, wining  silver in 1972 and 1984 and bronze in 1980,  went on to have a considerable career as a sports administrator.  She was the driving force behind the foundation of the Paralympic Council of Ireland (now Paralympics Ireland) in 1987, and served as the organisation’s Secretary General until her retirement in 2008. She was also a longtime member of the Irish Sports Council board.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rio '16 - Swimming

With just 50 days to go to the start of Rio 2016, the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed the selection of  swimmers Fiona Doyle, Shane Ryan and Nicholas Quinn  and diver Oliver Dingley

Fiona Doyle qualified when she finished 3rd in the 100m breaststroke at the World University Games in South Korea last July.  In the 100m backstroke, Shane Ryan became the first to qualify in a 50m pool in Ireland at the Dave McCullagh Meet in Bangor last March. Nicholas Quinn qualified with a win and a new championships record in the 200m breaststroke at April's Eindhoven Swim Cup.

Oliver Dingley is Ireland’s first diver to qualify since Dubliner Eddie Heron competed at the 1948 London Olympics. Dingley's 11th in the preliminary round at the Diving World Cup in Rio de Janeiro last  February was enough to see him book his place.

Doyle, Ryan and Quinn are now back  at home after a two-week training camp in Barcelona. They travel to Uberlandia, the Irish training base for Rio, on July 25 for a two-week camp ahead of the start of the swimming competition on August 6. Dingley, currently training  in Spain, will compete at next week's Italian National Diving Championshipsand. After the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Bolzano, Italy from July 15 – 17, he will travel directly to the Olympic Village on August 3.
 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Rio '16 - List of Qualifiers (ongoing)


Current list of Olympic qualifiers:

Athletics
Women:
Ciara Everard - 800m
Ciara Mageean - 1,500m
Kerry O'Flaherty - 3,000m steeplechase
Sara Treacy - 3,000m steeplechase
Michelle Finn - 3,000m steeplechase
Fionnuala McCormack - 10,000m, marathon
Lizzie Lee - marathon
Breege Connolly - marathon
Tori Pena - Pole vault 
Men:
Mark English, 800m
Thomas Barr, 400m hurdles
Rob Heffernan - 20k walk, 50k walk
Alex Wright - 20k walk, 50k walk
Brendan Boyce - 50k walk
Kevin Seaward - marathon
Mick Clohisey - marathon
Paul Pollock - marathon

Badminton
Scott Evans- men's singles Rd 1, Thu Aug 11
Chloe Magee

Boxing: 
Men: 

Paddy Barnes - Light fly (49kg)
Brendan Irvine - Fly (52kg)
Michael Conlan - Bantam (56kg)
David Oliver Joyce - Light (60kg)
Steven Donnelly - Welter (69kg)
Joe Ward - Light Heavy (81kg)
Women:
Katie Taylor - Light (60kg)

Cycling
Men's road race -  Dan Martin, Nicholas Roche
Women's track -Shannon McCurly,  Kierin.
Fri Aug 12, 2pm Irish time.

Equestrian

Eventing - Team. Starts Day 1, Aug 6 (2pm) with dressage; team was 5th in London
Clare Abbott (29), Hillsborough
Jonty Evans (44) based in UK
Mark Kyle (42) based in UK
Padraig McCarthy (38), Tipperary
(Reserve - Camilla Speirs with Portersize Just a Jiff)
Show jumping
Greg Broderick on MSH Going Global
Dressage
Judy Reynolds- dressage
Golf
Leona Maguire
Stephanie Meadow
Padraig Harrington
Seamus Power
Gymnastics
Kieran Behan
Ellis O'Reilly
Hockey
Men's team
Modern pentathlon
Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe
Natalya Coyle
Rowing
Women's single sculls - Sanita Puspure  
Sinead Jennings
Lightweight double sculls women - Sinead Jennings Lynch/Claire Lambe
Lightweight double sculls men - Paul and Gary O'Donovan
Sailing
Annalise Murphy - Laser Radial
Andrea Brewster & Saskia Tidey - 49er FX 
Finn Lynch - Laser
Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern - 49er
Swimming/diving
Fiona Doyle - 100m breaststroke
Shane Ryan - 100m backstroke
Nicholas Quinn - 200m breaststroke
Oliver Dingley- diving (3m spring-board)
Triathlon
Bryan Keane
Aileen Reid














Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rio '16: Sailor Lynch wins Olympic Laser selection

Finn Lynch, aged 20,  from Carlow became the youngest ever Irish sailing helmsman to qualify for the Olympic Games when he finished 54th and first  of the Irish at the Laser World Championships in Mexico.
Also competing in Mexico were  London 2012 Olympian James Espey and up and coming Baltimore sailor Fionn Lyden. Espey led by six points going into the final trial but finished 24 places behind Finn. Fionn Lyden narrowed the gap but still finished third in the trial.
Sailing for the National Yacht Club, Lynch was the only  one of the Irish to make the gold fleet  (top 56) after the four day preliminary round of the world championship. Espey and Lyden finished 67th and 78th respectively and made the silver fleet. 
Along with Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey (women’s 49er skiff), Annalise Murphy (Women’s Laser Radial) and Ryan Seaton with Matt McGovern (men’s 49er skiff), Lynch will be nominated for selection to the  Olympic Council of Ireland.
http://jldigitalmedia.zenfolio.com/p370790174/e712469f2

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rio '16: Men's Hockey Schedule

The Irish men's hockey team  will face India (world ranked No 7) on August 6 in its in its opening Pool B game at the Rio  Olympics.
They then face the Netherlands (2), a day later. After a day's rest, they play Germany  (3) on  August 9,  Canada (14) on August 11 and Argentina (6) on August 12. Quarter-finals begin on Sunday August 14.
Australia, the reigning World and Hockey World League champions,  top Pool A. They will play Great Britain (WR 4 – based on England’s ranking); Belgium (5); New Zealand (8); Spain (11) and hosts Brazil (32).

 Irish schedule summary - all times local.

Match 1
Saturday August 6, 11:00 - India v Ireland
Match 2
Sunday August 7, 18:00 - Netherlands v Ireland
Match 3
Tuesday August 9, 12:30- Germany v Ireland
Match 4
Thursday August 11, 11:00- Ireland v Canada
Match 5
Friday August 12, 19:30- Ireland v Argentina.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rio '16: Sailor Annalise Murphy nominated for Laser Radial place

Annalise Murphy won  the  trial for the Rio Olympic Games at the Laser Radial World Championships in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this week.

Murphy, who sailed for Ireland at the London Olympics and is a member of the National Yacht Club  in Dun Laoghaire, now awaits confirmation of her place from the Olympic Council of Ireland.

Having qualified the Irish boat for the women’s Laser Radial, Murphy’s sole challenger for the place was Aoife Hopkins from Howth YC. Murphy finished ahead of Hopkins in each of the three regattas in the trial, although the margin tightened to just four places.

Attention now switches to preparation for a Rio venue that will provide a sharp contrast to more familiar and breezy waters of Weymouth used for London 2012.  At the world championships Murphy, a former European Champion, finished out of the top ten.

The conclusion of the Laser Radial trials means three of the four Irish qualified sailing disciplines for Rio have now been decided.  The men’s single-handed event in the Laser Standard rig will have the final trials event at the World Championships next month, also in Mexico.

London 2012 veteran James Espey from Ballyholme YC holds a narrow lead over ISA development sailor Finn Lynch from the National YC.  Baltimore’s Fionn Lyden is also a contender.

In the 49er skiff class, Ryan Seaton with Matt McGovern and 49erFX sailors Andrea Brewster with Saskia Tidey await ratification of their nominations to the Olympic Council of Ireland.

Rio '16: Six boxers now qualified; seven more possible

Brendan Irvine and David Oliver Joyce  became the fifth and sixth boxers to qualify for the Rio Olympics - and there could be more with the Women’s World Championships  in Astana next month and a men's APB v WSB tournament on a date yet to be confirmed.
Joyce booked his place when he narrowly beat Turkey’s Volkan Gokcek in the third-place box-off  at the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey on Sunday April 17.
Belfast flyweight Brendan Irvine had made his place certain when he won his third-place box off  against Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov a day earlier.
Katie Taylor  has still to make it after her five-year unbeaten run ended when she lost to Yana Alekseevna in Samsun. Italy’s Irma Testa  was second runner-up. She got back on track when she won the 3rd place box-off, beating Staneva.
Taylor will travel to Astana looking for an unprecedented sixth world title. A place in the semi-finals will guarantee her a place in Rio. Taylor had gone undefeated in 67 championship bouts before Samsun.
Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward have already qualified for Rio.
Seven more boxers could qualify in the remaining qualifiers - Women: Ceire Smith (flyweight), Katie Taylor (lightweight), Christina Desmond(middleweight). Men: Dean Walsh (light-welterweight) Michael O'Reilly( middlewight), Darren O'Neill (heavyweight), Dean Gardiner (heavyweight).

Rio'16: A second gymnast qualifies

Ellis O’Reilly has become the first Irish female gymnast ever to  qualify for an Olympic Games the games.
The London-based 18-year-old, whose grandfather came from Armagh, qualified for Rio '16 at the Aquecce Rio Test Event at the Barra Olympic Arena, the final qualifying event for the Rio games. She joins Kieran Behan who  qualified on Saturday.
O’Reilly, an A-levels student, earned her spot at  the Rio qualifying event when she finished 98th of 192 gymnasts at last year’s World Championships.
Behan went on to take silver for his floor rotation at the competition.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rio '16: Seven horse riders qualified

Team Ireland equestrian athletes, Aoife Clark, Bertram Allen, Sam Watson, Joseph Murphy, Cathal Daniels, Judy Reynolds, and Helen Kearney (centre)


Ireland has qualified seven equestrian places for Rio '16, including a full team of four eventing riders, individual show jumping and dressage riders and one Paralympic place.

After impressive results at Nations Cup competitions for the Irish eventing team, including a win in last season’s Dutch Nations Cup finale,  the Irish team hopes to improve on its fifth place  at London 2012.  Since the start of 2015, a squad of ten eventing riders has been training  with  team manager Nick Turner.

While Ireland failed to qualify a show jumping team for Rio, one individual place has been secured. Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick, Denis Lynch and Cian O'Connor are on the shortlist for the spot and all four are part of team manager Robert Spaine's Irish squad for the upcoming Nations Cup of Belgium along with rising star Anthony Condon.

In dressage, Kildare’s Judy Reynolds recently finished eighth in the World Cup final against the top riders in the world. Ireland has also qualified one Paralympic athlete for Rio. Helen Kearney won two individual medals and a team medal in London. Kearney and her Paralympic teammates got off to a good start in 2016,  when they finished third in the first Para Dressage Nations Cup of the season in France recently.

Next  big date for  the team  is the week starting June 7 when Horse Ireland will name the Irish riders they will recommend to the Olympic Council of Ireland.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Rio '16: Four boxers qualified

Ireland currently has four boxers qualified for the Olympics - Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward - but this number is expected to rise after a series of international events between April and June.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cian O'Connor's appeal fails

See http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/other-sports/no-regrets-as-cas-rejects-cian-oconnors-aachen-appeal-374482.html