Cyclist Aoife O’Brien has been named as the flagbearer for Team Ireland in the Opening Ceremony of the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) which takes place in the Baku Crystal Hall on the 21 July. The EYOF is a multi-sport event aimed at athletes aged 14-18 years of age and runs from the 21 – 27 July in Baku.
The Olympic Federation of Ireland entered a team of 32 athletes across five sports for the fifteenth edition of the EYOF, which is held every two years. Fifteen year old O’Brien has been dominant in the Irish women’s senior ranks in recent weeks and the announcement was made in front of her teammates that she has been chosen to lead Team Ireland in the Athlete’s Parade tomorrow.
“It’s such an honour to be selected out of all the people that are here,” a surprised O’Brien said on hearing the news, “it just makes the experience all the more enjoyable, and all my family are coming to watch, it will be great.”
Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for the EYOF, Gavin Noble said, “I’m delighted to announce Aoife as the flagbearer. Not only is she a very competent athlete competing well against the senior riders nationally, but she is a popular choice amongst her teammates. This is the first time a cyclist has been selected to be flagbearer and we are looking forward to the athlete’s parade tomorrow night.”
There has been just one change to the Team Ireland line up for the EYOF from the original announcement – with the withdrawal of Galway gymnast Bláthnaid Higgins.
Performance Director for Gymnastics Ireland, Sally Johnson said, “Sadly, Bláthnaid has had to withdraw and will now begin her preparation and training for the senior age and prepare for the 2020 Programme. Bláthnaid is a strong determined and focused gymnast and I wish her every success in her training, and I really look forward to her competing next year as a senior gymnast.”
Competition begins on Monday for Team Ireland with athletes competing in five sports over the next seven days; Athletics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Swimming and Tennis.
The daily schedule of Team Ireland in Baku can be found HERE
Details about the athletes and events below: