150 days to go until the London 2012 Games

To mark the occasion, Team Ireland sponsors Electric Ireland have launched the “Get Energised” challenge which encourages people to be more healthy by providing them with fitness and lifestyle tips from the Irish athletes.

European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton, national flyweight boxing champion Michael Conlan and 400m hopeful David Gillick had fun with the big blue numbers at the launch event.

Team Ireland have 27 qualified places to date in Athletics (13), Boxing (3), Cycling (3), Gymnastics (1) ,Sailing (5) and Swimming (2)

Others will follow soon on completion of ranking lists in sports such as Badminton, Equestrian, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, and Triathlon , and  further qualification events are held in Boxing, Canoeing, Hockey, and Sailing.

Will a 4x400 women’s relay team qualify? Will a hockey team qualify for the first time, and will Katie Taylor realise her Olympic Dream in 2012?

The Irish Team could include athletes from 14 sports and range from 42-66 athletes in size depending on qualification events over the next few months.

 

We wish our athletes every success in the weeks and months to come and look forward to helping them realise their goals in London this summer.

 

Some quotes from athletes who attended the Electric Ireland /Team Ireland photo call

David Gillick (400 metres: still to qualify) “The plan is to finish some pre-season training in America, later next month, and finish off there with a few races, just to get going again,” he said.

“Then when I come back to Europe around the end of May the plan is to race pretty much weekly, and that includes the European Championships, in Helsinki, in June.

“I think from an Irish perspective it’s a great opportunity. If you look at other nations such as America, Jamaica, and even the British, they have national championships that have rounds, which are very important. So I see the Europeans almost like a dry run pre-competition, and hopefully get three rounds in a short space of time.”

“Obviously I don’t have my Olympic qualifying time (45.30 seconds), but I think it would be foolish for any athlete to sit back and go ‘well I have my time’,” he said.

“I’d much prefer to be running the qualifying time in the year of the Olympics, rather than the year before. If it was a case that I was running 44-plus in 2011 and I was running 46-plus in 2012 then I wouldn’t want to go to London, because you’re not performing.”

Fionnuala Britton (3k Steeplechase: qualified) , moves to the US next month, for a period of altitude training in Albuquerque.

Although she already has the Olympic standard in the 3,000 metres steeplechase, her priority is to qualify in both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, where she believes her increased endurance and confidence.

“I’ll run my first 10km in Stanford, at the end of April,” she said, “because everyone is going for times there, and it’s early enough to be able to move on to the rest of the season. I’d like to get them both, then work from there, but it would be nice to get 10km first, because you can’t do that many.

“You can go back and do 5km a few times. At the moment it’s about getting the qualifying times, but I would definitely like to run the European Championships as well, they’re definitely good practice. I don’t see why they wouldn’t be competitive. Maybe some countries will see it differently, and send development athletes, but I think most athletes will want to go.”

Michael Conlan (flyweight: qualified) ,

“I’ve only been in the high performance set-up since last year, and with full-time training, your level seems to increase a lot. Like that camp in the Curragh, a few weeks ago, was very hard. I felt like crying after the first obstacle course, I wanted to stop,” said Conlon. “But right now Irish boxing is in a great position, we’re all booming with confidence.”

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