Today saw a strong display of performances from Team Ireland athletes across the board at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica. Personal Bests and qualification for finals were clocked throughout this first day of competition, in the multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs from the 25 – 30 July. 


Four of the Team Ireland athletics team were competing today, with four finals up for grabs. Rising to the occasion, the Irish athletes ensured the schedule would remain busy, qualifying for each final.

Ratoath’s Jesse Osas blitzed his boy’s 100m heat, finishing second with a personal best time of 10. 91. This booked the sixteen year old a place in tomorrow’s final. After his race, Osas said,

“I felt really well out of the blocks, going through I was happy. Coming from Ireland to Slovakia took a while to settle in to, but I felt good going into the race. Today, this whole event, coming here, running for my country, it feels great.”

Another personal best run was recorded by Cork’s Nicole Dinan in the girl’s 800m with a time of 2:12.27,  

“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, I said I’d go out there and do what I needed to do. It was an easy enough start, a bit messy throughout the race, but that’s to be expected. Coming up the final straight I was like I’m here, I’m going to go for it, I pumped the arms to see what would happen.”

Cork’s Okwu Backari also moved to the final in the long jump with 5.41. While not clocking her best jump, Backari was relived to move to the finals tomorrow,

“My first jump was by far my best jump, I was a little behind the board, but it was still a good jump and I got it in. It’s my first huge competition, and not many people get to get here.”

Hollie Kilroe from Galway made it a clean sweep of qualifications for the athletics team, moving to the final with a time of 56.86. Pleased with her result, Kilroe said “I started off very fast, maybe a bit too fast, but I was delighted to hold it. I scraped the finals but very happy I did.”


Dubliners Dylan Noble and Michelle Shochan were both competing in the Group Play rounds of the Singles. The top two from each group move to the next rounds. The team is managed three-time Olympian Chloe Magee.

Fourteen year old Shochan had a stellar performance in her match against Great Britain’s Varsha Kumar. Describing a tight battle she said,

“It was a very close match. I was hoping to win because I had played her before, but me and my coach Chloe had watched her match and made a plan to play my game and make some adjustments depending on what I needed to do. It’s great because Chloe has been in my shoes and played so many matches before, so she knows what to do and what to tell me.”

Noble had a busier day, competing twice today, against Sweden’s Romeo Makboul this morning and Portugal’s Santiago Batalha later on. While he was beaten in both matches, as the competition grew, so too did his confidence,

“I was very nervous when I started and the first 11 went so fast, I don’t really remember what happened. I got more confident as it went on, and was more attacking on the back. But I didn’t take enough control of the net.”

Speaking about his performance and the perspective she can bring to the team with her experience Magee said,

“I used to love these big multi-sport events, Dylan has never played a big event like this and it has been a big build up. I’ve been explaining to him that nerves are normal, and now it’s about taking what we learned today and get the best match out there.”


Bangor’s Grace Davison had a busy day, qualifying out of her rounds in the 100m Freestyle with a time of 58.82, a time she matched later in the day in the semi-finals. She also competed in the 400m Individual Medley, just missing out on the finals. Disappointed with her results, Davison described her semi-final in the 100m Freestyle,  

“It wasn’t the best swim, but the first 50 was a lot quicker than this morning, but a bit slow on the way back. It’s a good experience here meeting new people as well, I just can’t wait to get over to the Commonwealth Games now.”


Both Rachel Deegan (Dublin) and Eoghan Jennings (Westport) had a full day, competing in the knock out rounds of the Singles, as well as the Mixed Doubles. Fourteen year old Jennings was cool and composed in his match against Portugal’s Joao Dinis Silva, before being defeated in the third set, with 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Deegan was unlucky to meet number 1 seed and home favourite, Renata Jamrichova from Slovakia, with a 6-1, 6-1 loss.

However, together the pair gelled excellently in the Mixed Doubles, with a dominant performance over Kosova. Speaking after the match, Deegan said,

“It feels really good to get through a match, and have one under our belt, so it will be great experience. Really excited to go again.”

Jennings added,  “It was comfortable enough, we got off to a good start and kept it going and came out on top. Playing together you try to collaborate as much as you can but we don’t think about it too much, we just go out and play our own games and see the end result.”

There will be another busy day tomorrow with Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming all on the schedule.



Jesse Osas – Boy’s 100m Heats 10.91 (PB) Q for Final

Okwu Backari – Girl’s Long Jump Heats 5.41 Q for Final

Nicola Dinan – Girl’s 800m Heats 2:12.27 (PB) Q for Final

Hollie Kilroe – Girl’s 400m Heats 56.81 Q for Final


Romeo Makboul (SWE) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Men’s Singles R1 (21-7, 21-10)

Santiago Batalha (POR) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Boy’s Singles R2 (21-17, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-1 Varsha Kumar (GB) – Girl’s Singles R1 (22-20, 22-24, 21-15)


Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 100m Freestyle Heats – 16th with 58.82, Q for Semis

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 100m Freestyle SF – 15th with 58.82, did not qualify for finals

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girls 400m Medley Heats – 11th with 5.08.23, did not qualify for finals.


Joao Dinis Silva (POR) 2-1 Eoghan Jennings (IRL) – Boy’s Round One (6-2, 4-6, 6-3)

Renata Jamrichova (SVK) 2-0 Rachel Deegan (IRL) – Girl’s Round One (6-1, 6-1)

Ireland (Jennings & Deegan) 2-0 Kosovo (Hajrizi & Rama) – Mixed Doubles Round 1 (61, 6-2)


09:36 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – 100m Freestyle Heats (Lane 3)

10:34 Swimming – Grace Davison – 200m Breaststroke Heats

10:40 Athletics – Senan O’Reilly – 800m Heats

10:40 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Jelena Buchberger (CRO) Girl’s Singles R2

11:00 Cycling – Ailyah Rafferty Girl’s Time Trial (#1) 78 starters, 8.4km course

11:32 Cycling – Aine Doherty Girl’s Time Trial (#33) 78 starters, 8.4km course

11:58 Cycling – Mya Doocey Girl’s Time Trial (#59) 78 starters, 8.4km course

12:25 Badminton – Dylan Noble (IRL) V Andrei Schmidt (EST) Boy’s Singles R2

14:30 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Anja Rumpold (AUT) Girl’s Singles R3

16:00 Cycling – Sam Coleman Boy’s Time Trial (#1) 93 starters, 8.4km course

16:36 Cycling – Patrick Casey Boy’s Time Trial (#37) 93 starters, 8.4km course

16:45 Gymnastics – Niall Hooten Men’s Artistic Gymnastics – runs to 19:00

17:09 Cycling – Seth Dunwoody Boy’s Time Trial (#70) 93 starters, 8.4km course

17:45 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Marie Stern (GER) Girl’s Singles R4

17:55 Athletics – Okwu Backari – Long Jump Finals

18:14 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – 100m Freestyle SF

18:10 Athletics – Sean Cronin – 1500m Final

18:54 Swimming – Grace Davison – 200m Breaststroke Final

20:20 Athletics – Jesse Osas – 100m Finals

Scroll to Top