AUSTIN O’CONNOR 13th IN THE INDIVIDUAL EVENT, DINGLEY DIVES TO 25th IN HIS SECOND OLYMPIC GAMES
On what was one of the quieter days of action for Team Ireland, diver Oliver Dingley got his second Olympic campaign underway in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, where he finished 25th with 335 points in the Men’s 3m Springboard Preliminary Rounds, the top 18 divers progress to tomorrow’s semi-finals.
At the Equestrian Park, the Team Ireland Eventing team competed in Eventing Jumping Team Final, where they finished 8th, with an overall score of 177.00. In the Individual Final, Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue finished 13th, after progressing as one of the top 25 qualifiers.
After a busy week at Tokyo Aquatics Centre with Team Ireland’s swimmers in action, it was now the turn of Diver Oliver Dingley who was competing today in the Men’s 3m Springboard Preliminaries.
Dingley was Ireland’s first Olympic diver in 68 years at Rio 2016 where he finished eighth with his PB of 442.90 points. In 2018 he was eighth at the European Championships and seventh at the World Cup in China.
With six dives to complete, Dingley started his sequence with an inward 2 ½ somersaults pike which scored him 63.000 points – leaving him outside the top 18 in 22nd place.
Dingley’s dives with the highest degree of difficulty were his 3rd and 6th; a reverse 2 ½ somersault pike and a back 2 ½ somersault with 1 ½ twist pike. After a disappointing second dive, he scored 59.500 on dive 3 and 61.2 on dive 6.
Despite qualifying for his second Olympics in May 2021 by making the semi-finals of the World Cup in Tokyo, it wasn’t to be this time around for the DIT Student of Film and Broadcasting. Finishing with 335.00 points, he had to settle for a 25th place finish and bows out at this stage.
At the Rio Olympics Dingley finished 8th in the Final and was philosophical falling short of qualifying in today’s Preliminary Round, recognising the positives in becoming a two-time Olympian, “I have to take a step back, it’s a great achievement and I’m very proud of that. I can safely say I’ve experienced the highs and lows at the Olympics. It wasn’t the performance I wanted today, especially after making the final in Rio, with my 8th place. At the same time, I messed up a dive in the second round. And once you mess that it’s hard to gather yourself. I felt like I did gather myself to the best of my ability, but silly mistakes cost me in each round and at this level when you make those mistakes it’s game over. It happens in high level sport, and there is a mixture of emotions for everyone.
“On days like these it’s hard, but at the same time as an athlete you look back on the journey and it has its down moments, but wow there’s a lot of good moments as well. To be the first person in 68 years to follow Eddie Heron from 1948, I feel very lucky to be part of a sport that is diving, it’s only going to get bigger.”
Today’s event saw several failed dives across the Preliminary Rounds, “I don’t think I’ve seen so many failed dives at an Olympic Games, but that’s what happens at high level sport and unfortunately I was at the wrong side of that result today. But I am proud at the same time and am looking forward to cheering on Tanya Watson as well. She’s a phenomenal talent and it will be a special moment for her, and for Team Ireland as well, the first ever team diver.”
Teammate, Watson will be competing in her first Olympic Games when she steps on the board on Wednesday 4th August, with Tokyo being the first Games to feature a female diver.
There was thrilling action in Equestrian Park at the final day of Eventing, rounding up the four days of demanding competition. Team Ireland finished in 8th place on an overall score of 177.00. Leading from start to finish, Great Britain took home the Gold Medal on a score of 86.30. The scores are made up of the three individual totals after Dressage, Cross Country and the Team Show Jumping Final. Best of the Irish was Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue (SHBGB). The pair’s 17th place, after the Team Show Jumping Final, counted towards the overall team result and qualified them for the Individual Show Jumping Final.
O’Connor guided the 12-year-old grey gelding around the tricky Show Jumping course picking up four faults, after knocking the back pole of the oxer jumping into the final double. Having no faults to add from yesterday’s Cross Country round, his Show Jumping score was added to his Dressage score and the pair finished up on a score of 42.00.
Sam Watson & Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) completed the Show Jumping phase with two poles down, adding 8 penalties to their combined Dressage and Cross Country marks. They finished on a score of 55.30 and in 30th place.
“It was a learning Games and not a winning Games,” Watson stated.
The final addition to the Team result was Sarah Ennis & Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH). Ennis had the middle element of the combination down resulting in four faults. Adding this to their Dressage and Cross Country marks resulted in a score of 79.70 for 36th place.
“I am proud of him,” Ennis beamed. “He was so obedient. He waited and he moved. It was one of his nicer rounds.”
The top 25 individual athletes advanced to the Individual Final, two hours after the Team Final. Carrying forward their scores and starting in reverse order, Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue were 8th into the ring and ended up with another four faults after a very light rub of a pole in the middle of a combination. What proved to be a difficult, twisty track with a tight time, O’Connor & Colorado Blue started to climb up the ranks as poles clattered to the ground for tired combinations that were ahead of them coming into the final. Adding the four faults to their carried through score of 42.00 gave them a final total of 46.00, good enough for 13th place.
Speaking after all the action, O’Connor said: “I feel amazing. He is a phenomenal horse, this is his first Championships. I was drawn in at the very last minute so I was hanging on in there for the last five or six weeks which is a seriously difficult circumstance to be in. The bottom line is we both showed our professionalism and I hope I did everyone at home proud.”
The winner of the Individual final and taking home Gold was Julia Krawjewski of Germany. Tom McEwen, Great Britain, took home Silver with Andrew Hoy of Australia taking Bronze.
McEwen & Hoy were the only two athletes to complete the entire competition on their Dressage score by adding no penalties when jumping clear inside the time in all phases; Cross Country, Team Show Jumping Final and the Individual Show Jumping Final. Krawjewski also jumped three impressive clear rounds, only adding 0.4 of a time penalty from the Cross Country to her dressage score. This is an incredible feat from the top three athletes to achieve in this exciting sport and the overall results show how difficult Eventing can be.
Tomorrow will see Kellie Harrington in the ring, with a quarter-final bout against Imane Khelif (ALG) standing between her and a medal. There will be more athletics action also, with Andrew Coscoran, Leon Reid and Marcus Lawlor taking to the track for the first time, while Phil Healy starts her third event of the Games, the Women’s 400m. In Equestrian, the Show Jumpers start their campaign in the Individual qualifiers.
EVENING RESULTS DAY 10: AUGUST 2ND, 2021
Men’s 3m Springboard, Preliminary: Oliver Dingley, 25th with 335 points, will not qualify for semi-finals.
Eventing Team – 8th place, 177.00. Gold: GBR, Silver: AUS, Bronze: FRA
Eventing Individual Final – Austin O’Connor & Colorado Blue (SHBGB)1 – 46.00, 13th place.
Eventing Individual – Sam Watson & Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) 2 – 55.30, 30th place.
Eventing Individual – Sarah Ennis & Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) 3 – 79.70, 36th place.
Gold: Julia Krawjewski, (GER). Silver: Tom McEwen (GBR), Bronze: Andrew Hoy (AUS)
1 2009 gelding by Jaguar Mail (SF) out of Rock Me Baby (AES), by Rock King (WNTR). Breeder: Mellon Stud / Kate Jarvey, Limerick. Owners: Austin O’Connor & The Salty Syndicate.
2 2009 gelding by Tullabeg Fusion (ISH) out of Tullabeg Heidi (ISH), by Ardenteggle Sir (IPSA). Breeder: Nicholas Cousins, Wexford. Owner: Vahe Bogossian.
3 2009 gelding by Garrison Royal (ISH) out of Davitt Star (ISH), by Furisto (HANN). Breeder: Patrick J Kearns, Laois. Owner: Breda Kennedy.
DAY 11 SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ARE IRISH TIME): August 3rd, 2021
*Schedule may be subject to change
01:27 Athletics – Andrew Coscoran – Men’s 1500m heat 3
02:17 Athletics – Phil Healy – Women’s 400m heat 5
03:45 Athletics – Marcus Lawlor – Men’s 200m heat 6
03:53 Athletics – Leon Reid – Men’s 200m heat 7
04:35 Boxing – Kellie Harrington – Women’s Lightweight quarter-finals, Kellie Harrington (IRL) Vs Imane Khelif (ALG)
11:00 Equestrian: Show Jumping Individual Qualifiers (Individual times to be confirmed after second horse inspection)
12:50 Athletics – Leon Reid – Men’s 200m semi-finals pending qualification
12:50 Athletics – Marcus Lawlor – Men’s 200m semi-finals pending qualification