GREENE ROUNDS OUT THE ACTION IN THE POOL ON DAY ONE FOR TEAM IRELAND
Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has made history today as he became the first Irish gymnast to qualify for an Olympic final following an incredible performance on the Pommel Horse earlier today. Indeed, it was another busy evening all round for the Irish, as the Team Ireland hockey team got their Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign underway with a comfortable 2-0 win over South Africa, while swimmer Darragh Greene concluded Team Ireland’s action in the pool on Day One.
Rhys McClenaghan has made history today as the first Irish gymnast to qualify for an Olympic final. Since his incredible performance on the Pommel Horse earlier on today, McClenaghan had a long wait for the completion of the three subdivisions to receive the exciting news. McClenaghan sat comfortably in 1st place throughout the first and second subdivision with the hopes of qualification set firmly in his sight.
After the day’s competition, McClenaghan finished in joint 2nd place alongside Kohei Kameyama, Japan, on a score of 15.266. Gymnasts are judged on a combination of Difficulty (D) & Execution (E) for their performance and both gymnasts were awarded the same score as Taiwan’s Chih Kai Lee in 1st place. However, Lee was declared the winner by achieving a higher execution mark. Lee was awarded 6.400 for Difficulty (D) and 8.866 for Execution (E), beating both McClenaghan’s and Kameyama’s Execution (E) mark of 8.766. The runners-up were awarded 6.500 for Difficulty (D).
“I am so proud to be the first Irish gymnast to make an Olympic final,” McClenaghan stated after the news was officially confirmed. “I am looking forward to going out and representing Team Ireland once again.”
Ireland made a dream start to life as an Olympic hockey team as they got the best of South Africa in their debut on this stage.
Róisín Upton’s powerful low drag-flick in the ninth minute meant they held the lead from the outset, an advantage they eventually strengthened before the end of the third quarter via Sarah Torrans. It gives them the perfect platform for the tournament with a big date against world number one side the Netherlands on Monday.
Sarah Torrans scored the second goal, a particularly special moment as it was her first in a major world ranking tournament. Speaking after the game she said: “It’s so special, to do it with this bunch of girls is incredible. It’s a pity family and friends can’t be here to see it, but hopefully we can do them proud at home. It’s really nice to score in your first game – it’s one an attacker dreams of!
“You could probably see the smiles on our faces walking out – it’s been a long day waiting for this game, so to finally be on the pitch, it’s incredible, it feels so surreal. We are delighted to get it going with a win and excited to get it going.”
Darragh Greene rounded off the Irish swimming action on Day One with a solid swim of 1:00.30 for fourth place in his 100m Breaststroke heat. Greene missed out on a top 16 qualifying spot but matched his 29th place ranking coming into the event. He competes again on Tuesday (Day 4 – July 27th) in the 200m Breaststroke.
Speaking afterwards he said: “It’s great to get that experience out there, it’s a serious pool, and yeah, really looking forward to the 200m.”
Speaking of the support he feels from home he added: “Yeah it’s unreal. It’s great to have everyone’s support, it’s very overwhelming and it’s great to have.”
Another busy day for Team Ireland gets underway tomorrow, with action across seven sports including rowing, gymnastics, sailing, canoeing, equestrian, swimming and boxing.
EVENING RESULTS DAY ONE: JULY 24TH, 2021
Women’s Pool A, Game 1: Ireland 2, South Africa 0
1st place Chih Kai Lee (TPE), 15.266
Joint 2nd Rhys McClenaghan (IRL) & Kohei Kameyama (JPN), 15.266.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke, Heat 4 –Darragh Greene 4th in heat and 29th overall with a time of 1:00.30