Team Ireland Guide and Updated Games Page Launched

With a record number of Irish athletes set to compete at the Tokyo Olympics this year, the Olympic Federation of Ireland has developed a Team Ireland Guidebook designed as an introduction to the athletes who will compete for Ireland in Tokyo, as well as an explainer about their sports.

In Tokyo 116 athletes will compete for Team Ireland across 19 sports, with action running from Friday 23 July – Sunday 8 August. The Opening Ceremony takes place on Friday the 23 July 2021 at 12 noon Irish time (8pm local time).

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In addition to this guidebook, an interactive web page has been developed in collaboration with the Olympic Channel, with a live link to the schedule and results in the Olympic Games, that can be filtered by sport and country.

This edition of the Olympic Games will be like no other, with many measures being put in place to ensure athletes can compete. However, for the general public viewing the Games from home, the experience will remain the same – with RTÉ featuring all the Irish action throughout the next two and a half weeks live from venues, as well as highlight packages, featuring athlete interviews and live action.  

Team Ireland action begins on Friday 23 July 2021, with the rowers in action just ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Over the coming days we will be providing a full event schedule and details of where the Games can be followed. The Olympic Games in Tokyo run from Friday 23 July – Sunday 8 August, with 116 Irish athletes competing.

Boxers Harrington and Irvine to carry flag as the Olympics drive towards gender balance

Team Ireland has named the two flagbearers who will carry the Irish flag in the athlete’s parade at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Boxers Kellie Harrington and Brendan Irvine have been selected in what is a monumental move in the Olympic family to strive for gender equality, with all participating nations have been invited to nominate a male and female athlete to carry the flag. The Opening Ceremony takes place on Friday the 23 July 2021 at 12 noon Irish time (8pm local time).

Boxing is Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, with sixteen of the thirty-one Irish medals having been won by boxers. Irvine is competing in his second Olympic Games, while Harrington is embarking on her first, and is going into the tournament as one of the top seeded boxers in the lightweight (-60kg) category.

Speaking on her selection, Harrington said,

“This means so much to me, to be able to represent not only myself as a person, but as a boxer, for boxing, for my family and for Ireland. It’s an amazing honour, there are so many athletes out here, and to be chosen as one of the flagbearers is absolutely fantastic. I can’t believe it really. Walking out there and realising I’m the flagbearer, it’s the start of the Olympic Games, and I’m at the pinnacle of our sport.”

Her teammate Irvine is also the boxing team captain, competing in the Flyweight category (-49kg), Harrington describes their pride,

“I know Brendy a long time now, and he is a fantastic person. He is what you call a leader; he leads the team. I’m so happy that it’s him out there with me. I just know we will be looking at each other and smiling. We will be feeling so proud, and I know his family and friends and community are quite like mine and everyone will be so proud of our achievements. I’m absolutely delighted.”

Almost half of the 116 Team Ireland athletes are currently residing in the Olympic village, as well as teams who are settling into the satellite venues. Team Ireland action begins on Friday 23 July 2021, with the rowers in action just ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Over the coming days we will be providing a full event schedule and details of where the Games can be followed. The Olympic Games in Tokyo run from Friday 23 July – Sunday 8 August, with 116 Irish athletes competing.

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Fletcher Siblings Officially Selected to Represent Ireland in Tokyo 2020

Team Ireland has officially selected the Judo team who will be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. For the first time Irish athletes will be competing in both the male and female events, as siblings Megan Fletcher and Ben Fletcher will compete in what is Japan’s national sport. They compete in the Nippon Budokan on the 28 – 29 July 2021.

Judo was one of the sports that saw a significant alteration to the qualification journey. In regular Olympiads the qualification journey is complete in the April prior to the Games, and prior to the postponement of the Games, the Fletchers were working to a pre-determined schedule. The amended qualification route involved a restructure of the 2021 season to extend the ranking period to the end of June, as well as including three significant events – the European Championships, Masters and World Championships.

Ben Fletcher is a Rio Olympian, having previously competed for GB, has had a dramatic roll into his second Games. He broke his leg in two places in February. Fortunately, his strong position going into 2020 ensured he held onto his ranking position by the close of the qualification window.

First time Olympian Megan Fletcher fights in the -70kg category and is looking forward to competing in Tokyo after what has been a challenging year,

“Being selected for the Olympics means the absolute worlds to me. I am so proud to have made the Irish team and to be flying the flag at my first Games! It has been such a long road to this point, and I couldn’t be more excited to get over to Tokyo and fight now!

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Games Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, said,

"I am pleased to welcome Ben and Megan to the team.  They’ve both had challenges to overcome in recent years, but their class and determination has shone through.  Irish Judo is a small community and to qualify both of these athletes is a great achievement. I look forward to seeing them in action in Tokyo.”

Team Ireland Judo Team Leader Ciaran Ward said,

“This is a watershed moment for us in Irish Judo, it’s the first time we have qualified two athletes since global qualification started. It’s a generation since we had this size of a team and it’s the first time we have had both men and women represented at the Olympics, so it’s a first for Irish Judo, and we are very proud of both of them.

“Judo is the national sport in Japan, and is the sport that produces most medals for them normally at the Olympic Games. They are the benchmark that we all try to achieve. Usually in Japan there’s a full stadium of spectators who all know their sport, which will be different this time around.”

TEAM IRELAND JUDO TEAM (2)

Megan Fletcher (Women’s -70kg)

Ben Fletcher (Men’s -100kg)

This was the final team announcement for Team Ireland, with the overall number of athletes consisting of 116 athletes, as well as an additional 11 ‘P’ athletes or reserves. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021. Throughout the Games the results, schedules and updates will be issued twice daily by Wilson Hartnell, who will be operating in Irish time.

More about the athletes:  

Bios

Megan Fletcher:

Age: 31 (02/08/1989)

Hometown: Wokingham, Berkshire

Club: Pinewood Judo Club

Coach: Ciarán Ward & Jurgen Klinger 2021

World Ranking: 20 2021

Olympic Ranking: 14

Details: Megan is only the second Irish women to represent Ireland in Olympic judo after Lisa Kearney (2012). This June she fought for a bronze medal at the World Championships in Hungary, the highest level ever by an Irish judoka. Her mother Alma is from Bruff, Co Limerick and Meg first competed for Ireland in 2017, winning a bronze medal at the European Open in Belgrade. She had previously won bronze at the European Cadet Championship in 2005. In 2019 she made the podium at the Marrakech, Tel Aviv and Montreal Grand Prix and was seventh at the European Games in Minsk. She usually trains at Bath University but Covid forced her to train, with her brother, at their home club in Wokingham, west of London and at the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland. Megan took a break from teaching geography in the past few years to train fulltime for Tokyo

Ben Fletcher:

Age: 29 (DOB 13/03/1992)

Hometown: Wokingham, Berkshire

Club: Pinewood Judo Club

Coach: Jurgen Klinger & Ciarán Ward

2021 World Ranking: 21

2021 Olympic Ranking: 15

Details

Ben, who is Megan’s younger brother, is a former world junior bronze medallist. The multiple Grand Slam and Grand Prix winner, whose mother Alma is from Bruff, Co Limerick, has represented Ireland since 2017. He started 2018 by winning gold at the Tunis Grand Prix, the first Irish judoka to ever win an IJF World Tour event. In 2018 he won silver at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam and bronze at the Antalya Grand Prix. In 2019 he had three top three Grand Prix finishes (Tel Aviv, Marrakech and Hohhot) and won bronze at the Grand Slam in Baku. In February 2021 he broke his leg in two places in competition in Israel yet has managed to return in time for his second Olympic Games. He competed for Great Britain in Rio where he finished 17th.

Behind every athlete is a team of support who assisted them on their journey. Today the Olympic Federation of Ireland revealed the names of the Team Leaders across the nineteen sports in which Team Ireland will be represented across the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In a year where a record number of athletes have qualified for Ireland in the Olympic Games, and in a time where leadership has been more important than ever, the 116 athletes who will compete in Tokyo are supported by a diverse and dedicated group of leaders.

Through the strong relationships that have been developed between these team leads and the Olympic Federation of Ireland, collaboration has been key to navigating through what has presented such uncertainty and challenges.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, commented,

“These Olympic Games have been a unique experience, requiring strong leaderships at a sport level to support both athletes and staff within their sports. We have a diverse group of team leaders, some have multi-Games experience, and others are transitioning from coaching roles, while others are heading into their first Games.

“Sport team leaders play an integral role working with the OFI on all elements of planning, for pre-Games preparation, and in competition performance. Over the last four years these leaders have faced unprecedented challenges in trying to navigate uncertainty in the daily training environment of their athletes, have had to deal with impacts on travel, on competition and indeed on a changing Olympic qualification journey for some.

“They have an integral role in the Olympic movement, as the primary contact that the athlete has with the Olympic Federation of Ireland, and in many cases are intimately involved in the sporting progress of the athletes.”

TEAM IRELAND SPORTS LEADERS:

Athletics Paul McNamara

Badminton Dan Magee

Boxing Bernard Dunne

Canoeing Jon Mackey

Cycling (Road) Tommy Evans

Cycling (Track) Martyn Irvine

Equestrian (Dressage) Triona Connors

Equestrian (Eventing) Sally Corscadden

Equestrian (Jumping) Michael Blake

Golf Neil Manchip

Gymnastics Sally Johnson

Hockey Adam Grainger

Judo Ciaran Ward

Modern Pentathlon Martina McCarthy

Rowing Antonio Maurogiovanni

Rugby 7s Anthony Eddy

Sailing James O'Callaghan

Shooting Jeff McCreedy

Swimming & Diving Jon Rudd

Taekwondo Niamh Buffini

Triathlon Stephen Delaney

Total number on Team Ireland Athletics Squad in the Tokyo Olympics Reaches 25

Team Ireland has officially selected the Athletics Track and Field and 20km Race Walk team who will be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. There will now be twenty-five athletes competing across the athletics events, with today’s announcement confirming those athletes who were in events that had Olympic ranking open until the end of June. The athletics events occur in the second week of the Games, running from Friday 30 July – Sunday 8 August, with the events taking place in both Sapporo Odori Park and the Olympic Stadium.

Last month the Marathon and 50km Race Walk team was announced, with seven athletes competing in Sapporo, today’s announcement includes athletes who both achieved qualification standards in their respective events, or who finished within the rankings on the cut off day last week. It was a tense final few weeks for those competing, especially those on the cusp of the qualification cut off, with concurrent competitions taking place around the world right up until the final day. While some athletes like Rio Olympians Thomas Barr and Ciara Mageean secured qualifying times in advance of the cut off, others like Mark English and Sarah Lavin had a tense wait and tough competition decisions to make right up until the final few days, with English achieving his automatic qualifying time on the last day.

Fourth finisher in the Rio Olympics, Thomas Barr said,

“I am very proud to be representing Ireland at my second Olympic Games. The men’s 400m hurdles is one of the most competitive events on the track at the moment and I can’t wait to line up and compete against the best on the biggest stage in the world.”

Speaking on her selection Cork’s Phil Healy said,

“It is a real honour for any athlete to be selected to represent their country at the Olympic Games. To achieve qualification in one event is a dream for any athlete as the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of any athletes career. I am thrilled to be selected for two individual events in addition to the mixed 4x400m relay. Every athlete has worked so hard to get to this point and it’s made all the more special to have such a large and strong athletics team heading to the Games.”

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Games Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, said,

"We have here a talented team of athletes, who have been faced with a challenging season of competition. For some qualification was confirmed early on in 2019, but for other athletes like Mark English, were achieving standards right until the last day. We have a strong team travelling with us to Tokyo, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they can do on the world's biggest stage.”

Athletics Performance Director and Team Manager for the Team Ireland Athletics Squad, Paul McNamara said:

“The Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport, and we must acknowledge the outstanding work athletes and coaches have put in to overcome the challenges of the last 15 months. The ‘end-game’ of the qualification period was excruciatingly difficult for many, but these athletes and their coaches expertly navigated the qualification system and have been rewarded with their place on the biggest stage. The resilience shown by these athletes has resulted in Ireland’s second biggest athletics team ever heading to a Games, and the highest ever number of individual qualifiers, all of whom are primed to take on the best in the world in just a few weeks’ time.”

TEAM IRELAND ATHLETICS TEAM (18)

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Individuals

Thomas Barr (400m Hurdles)

Síofra Cléirigh Büttner (800m)

Andrew Coscoran (1500m)

Mark English (800m)

Michelle Finn (3,000m Steeplechase)

Eilish Flanagan (3,000m Steeplechase)

Phil Healy (200m/400m/400m Relay)

Sarah Healy (1500m)

David Kenny (20K Walk)

Sarah Lavin (100H)

Marcus Lawler (200m)

Ciara Mageean (1500m)

Nadia Power (800m)

Leon Reid (200m)

Louise Shanahan (800m)

Mixed 4 x 400m Relay Team (4 athletes from the following 6):

Cillin Greene

Chris O’Donnell

Phil Healy

Sophie Becker

Robert McDonnell

Cliodhna Manning

Team Ireland now consists of 114 officially selected athletes, making this the largest team to represent Ireland yet. There is one remaining team announcement (Judo) which will take place on the 12th July. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

Derek Burnett to Compete in his Fifth Olympic Games

Team Ireland has officially selected Derek Burnett to compete in the Men’s Trap at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Ireland’s most decorated shooter will be competing in his fifth Olympic Games, a feat only matched by two other athletes, Rob Heffernan (Race Walker) and David Wilkins (Sailor). The Men’s Trap takes place in the Asaka Shooting Range from the 29-30 July.

The 51 year old Longford man made his debut in the Sydney Games in 2000 and competed in every Games bar Rio 2016 since. His highest Olympic finish was joint ninth in the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

Speaking about his selection Burnett said,

“It’s an amazing thing to be selected for the Olympics, it’s a difficult thing to describe. You can be selected for a World Cup or a European Championships or World Championships – all of which are great. But being selected for an Olympics just tops everything, it’s just wonderful.”

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Games Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, highlighted the standard of the team,

"Derek has just become a member of a very small club of five time Olympians, and we are really pleased to include him on the team. This year with nineteen sports on our Team Ireland schedule, it is really enjoyable working with athletes across the range, all of whom bring something different to the team. Derek’s experience spans back to Sydney in 2000, and we look forward to watching him compete in Tokyo 21 years later.”

Erig Conway, Chair of the Irish Clay Target Shooting Association said:

“This Olympic cycle has been extremely long one and a particularly hard one for all the athletes. But in Derek Burnett we have a seasoned Olympian who knows how to deal with the pressures and sense of occasion that the Olympics brings. I have every confidence in his resilience, but above all his world class shooting ability. We are a small organisation so having someone compete for Ireland on the global stage gives the whole shooting community a great boost.”

Team Ireland now consists of 96 officially selected athletes, with over 110 athlete spots confirmed, making this the largest team to represent Ireland yet. There are two remaining team announcements which will take place in the coming days. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

Team Ireland Equestrian Athletes Confirmed for Tokyo 2020

Experienced Riders Named for the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Team Ireland has officially selected the Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage athletes and horses who will compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. The majority of the Equestrian events take place in the original arena that hosted the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Equestrian Park, with the Eventing Cross-Country taking place on the Sea Forest Cross-Country Course. Starting on the Saturday 24 July with Dressage, the equestrian schedule runs through to Saturday 7 August, with the finals of the Jumping.

Speaking ahead of the Olympic Games Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, highlighted the standard of the team,

"This equestrian team can really do something in Tokyo. Right across the three disciplines there are proven performers, including of course, Cian, our Olympic Bronze Medallist. We also have world medallists and regular podium finishers across the board, with the Eventing Team consisting of some of the 2019 World Medallists. We are also delighted to have the experience of Heike on the team, who is embarking on her fourth Olympics. We are really looking forward to following the team in Tokyo.”

SHOW JUMPING

The team of Show Jumping riders includes London Olympic Bronze Medallist Cian O’Connor, Ireland’s top-ranked rider Darragh Kenny, and European Championship team gold medal winner Bertram Allen. Shane Sweetnam, who is also a European Championship gold medal winner, has been selected to travel to the Games as P Alternate rider and can be called upon to jump if required at different stages of the competition.

The group of horses selected for the Show Jumping team includes two Irish Sport Horses, with Cian O’Connor riding the nine-year-old gelding Kilkenny (ISH) and Bertram Allen riding the nine-year-old gelding Pacino Amiro (ISH). Darragh Kenny will ride the 14-year-old stallion VDL Cartello, while Shane Sweetnam rides the 11-year-old mare Karlin Van’t Vennehof.

London Olympics Bronze Medal winner Cian O’Connor said:

“Obviously, I am really over the moon to be selected for the Tokyo Olympics. I have a really special Irish horse in Kilkenny and together with my team-mates Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny and Shane Sweetnam, we are really looking forward to the trip to Tokyo and I really think we have a great chance. All our horses and riders are in great form and at the moment at the shows we are competing at, there is a great buzz and hype around Tokyo coming up, We are heading there quietly confident and looking forward to catching up with the rest of Team Ireland.”

Horse Sport Ireland Show Jumping High Performance Director Michael Blake said,

“This is a truly historic moment for Irish Show Jumping and we are incredibly proud to represent our country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. We are very lucky to have such a tremendous pool of talent to choose from and it was always going to be a tough decision to make the final selection. A huge amount of sweat, work and tears goes into Olympic preparation and our athletes have been terrific. Bertram, Cian, Darragh and Shane have a huge task ahead of them and I have no doubt that they will rise to the occasion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the equestrian community at large, the OFI, Sport Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland in particular for their continuing support.

The officially selected Show Jumping combinations for the Olympic Games are:

Bertram Allen with Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory.

Darragh Kenny with VDL Cartello (HOLST) – 2007 stallion by Cartani 4 (HOLST) out of B-Estelle (HOLST) by Lord (HOLST). Breeder: Witt Pferdezucht. Owner Lorcan Gallagher & Heathman Farm LLC

Cian O’Connor with Kilkenny (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF) Breeder Sinead Brennan, Co Kilkenny. Owner Susan Magnier.

P Alternate/Reserve – Shane Sweetnam with Karlin Van’t Vennehof (BWP) – 2010 Mare by Fantomas De Muze (BWP) out of Fantomas De Muze (BWP) by Quasimodo Vd Molendreef D’08 (BWP). Breeder: Jos Voeten. Owner: Seabrook LLC & Shane Sweetnam

The Show Jumping competition takes place in the Equestrian Park and runs from the 3 – 7 August 2021. Ireland’s Show Jumping riders will compete for medals in the individual competition first, followed by a second set of medals in the team competition.

EVENTING

The Irish Eventing team selected for the Games includes three members of the team that secured Olympic qualification when winning the team silver medal at the 2018 World Championships – becoming the first Irish team in any sport to qualify for Tokyo.

The team includes Ireland’s top-ranked Eventing rider Cathal Daniels, Sam Watson who has competed at three World Championships and Sarah Ennis who finished fifth individually at the 2018 World Championships. Austin O’Connor, who represented Ireland at two previous Olympic Games, at Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in 2008, has also been selected as P Alternate rider.

The Irish Eventing team includes no less than three Irish Sport Horses. Cathal Daniels rides Rioghan Rua (ISH) , Sam Watson partners Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH), Sarah Ennis will ride Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) and Austin O’Connor is selected with Colorado Blue.

Eventer Sam Watson added:

“Personally, it’s a huge honour to get the opportunity to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games. I have three World Championships and five Europeans under my belt, but this will be a first Games. It will be something that my own support team and family will cherish, but it’s business as usual for me right now.

On a broader note, I think Tokyo 2020 is a massive moment for us all. It’s a symbol of our ability to survive and, ultimately, to thrive. Global governing bodies, national sporting bodies and individual coaches, managers and support staff have really put their hearts and soles into making this possible. It’s been the same for athletes too, and it’s seriously tough on the ones that won’t make it there after all their effort, but as someone who now has the chance, I’ll be putting everything into these next few weeks to get a result for the country.”

Horse Sport Ireland Eventing High Performance Director Sally Corscadden said:

“It is a huge honour and privilege to be representing Team Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics.  The squad, coaches and support staff have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the challenges of travelling and competing horses on the other side of the world. It is an enormous logistical operation and we couldn’t do it without the great staff in HSI and the fantastic support of the OFI and Sport Ireland.

With the new format it was never going to be an easy selection and I would like to thank all the squad members for their input and engagement over the past two and a half years. They have really made Eventing in Ireland very competitive and raised the bar.  This will be the toughest competition in so many ways, but we are lucky to have such experienced and professional athletes to call upon.

You can be sure that we will be going there to do our best and wish to make Eventing Ireland and all our supporters proud of our performances on the world stage.”

The officially selected Eventing combinations for the Olympic Games are:

Cathal Daniels with Rioghan Rua (ISH) – 2007 mare by Jack Of Diamonds (SWE) out of Highland Destiny (ISH)[TIH] by Flagmount King (ID). Breeder/Owner: Margaret Kinsella (Galway).

Sarah Ennis with Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) [was Woodcourt Garrison] – 2009 gelding by Garrison Royal (ISH) out of Davitt Star (ISH) by Furisto (HANN). Breeder: Patrick J Kearns (Laois). Owner: Breda Kennedy

Sam Watson with Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) – 2009 gelding by Tullabeg Fusion [ISH] out of Tullabeg Heidi (unk) by Ardenteggle Sir (IPSA). Breeder: Nicholas Cousins (Wexford). Owner: Vahe Bogossian

P Alternate Athlete/Horse – Austin O’Connor with Colorado Blue (SHBGB) – 2009 grey gelding by Jaguar Mail out of Rock Me Baby by Rock Kind. Breeder: Mellon Stud, Owner Austin O’Connor and The Salty Syndicate

The Eventing competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games runs from July 29th to August 2nd.

DRESSAGE

Ireland will be represented at the Tokyo Olympic Games by one individual Dressage rider, Heike Holstein, who has previously represented Ireland at three Olympic Games as an individual  - Atlanta 1996,  Sydney 2000 and Athens in 2004).

Heike will ride her own Irish-bred mare Sambuca and the combination were previously part of the Irish team at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam (NED).

Speaking ahead of the Games Heike said:

“I am delighted to be representing Irish Dressage as an individual at the Tokyo Olympics. The last year and a half has been a roller-coaster and hard on us all and the Olympics is an event that unites the world in solidarity and sportsmanship.

I bred Sambuca and during her younger years until now, I always wished and aimed to ride her at the Olympic Games. I could not partake on this adventure without the support of the Team, Dressage Ireland, HSI , the OFI and my sponsors. It takes an army and I hope we do Ireland proud.”

Horse Sport Ireland Dressage High Performance Director Johann Hinnemann said:

“I’m delighted to nominate Heike Holstein. She is a proven performer with a top class Irish bred mare. It is very special for a horse person to have that opportunity with a self-bred and trained horse. My congratulations to the whole “ Holstein “ family for producing this. I have no doubt that Heike and Sambuca will proudly fly the flag for Irish Dressage and exhibit a fantastic performance. Heike and Sambuca have worked very hard for this chance and for sure will do everyone proud in Tokyo.”

The officially selected Dressage combination for the Olympic Games is:

Heike Holstein with Sambuca – 2009 mare by Samarant (HANN) out of Astoria (ISH) by Limmerick (HOLST). Bred by Heike Holstein, Co. Kildare. Owner: Jake & William Bell

The Dressage competition at the Tokyo Olympics runs from July 23rd to 28th

Team Ireland now consists of 95 officially selected athletes, with over 110 athletes spots confirmed, making this the largest team to represent Ireland yet. There are three remaining team announcements which will take place in the coming days. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

Bios

Michael Blake – Horse Sport Ireland Show Jumping High Performance Director & Chef D’Equipe

Michael’s position, which incorporates the role of chef d’equipe, became vacant when Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, who took up the post in March 2017, stepped down to concentrate on his own riding career. Prior to this appointment Michael held the roles of Team Ireland senior development jumping manager and assistant team manager to the Irish senior team. Since 2017, the Co Clare native has played a key role in the success of the team, including their win at October’s Nations’ Cup World Final in Barcelona, which secured a team spot at the Tokyo Olympics, and that at the 2017 European championships. Michael has filled the role of chef d’equipe for the senior team at more than 20 international shows and assistant team manager at a further 43.

Michael is always full of appreciation of the owners who make their world class horses available to Team Ireland. 

Cian O’Connor

Sport – Show Jumping

Age 41

From Co Meath

Social Media: Facebook: Cian O’Connor. Twitter: Cian O’Connor (@Cian_O_Connor). Instagram: Cian O’Connor (@cianoconnor_official).

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=F0BD5CFB450C51EE9ED0726325423D07

Olympic Horse - Kilkenny (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF) Breeder Sinead Brennan, Co Kilkenny. Owner Susan Magnier.

Key information:

Cian O’Connor is one of Ireland’s most well-renowned Show Jumping athletes, and one of the longest-serving team members. He is Ireland’s only equestrian athlete to win an Olympic medal (Bronze, London 2012). Cian also holds a European individual bronze and team Gold medal (2017) and has had over 120 caps for Irish senior show jumping teams. He is not only one of Ireland’s most successful athletes, he is also one of the sport’s most successful businessmen.

For almost 20 years Cian has been successfully producing and trading international show jumping horses, coaching riders and competing internationally for Ireland. Cian rode in his first Nations Cup for Ireland at the age of 19, has competed at the European Championships 10 times from 1997 to 2019 and has travelled to two Olympic Games, winning the Bronze medal at London 2012 with Blue Loyd.

Cian has also competed at the World Equestrian Games on three occasions and has also competed in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final twice, including 2019 when he was part of the Irish team that secured Olympic team qualification when winning the Nations Cup World Final in Barcelona.

Cian’s base in Ireland is his own 68-acre equestrian centre, Karlswood, Co. Meath. The impressive facilities include an indoor arena, an outdoor grass arena, an Olympic sized sand arena, hacking trails, gallops, stables and spa facilities as well as veterinary and schooling paddocks. Cian is business-focused and commented that being based in Ireland really stands out in the horse sport industry, and aligns with Horse Sport Ireland’s strategic vision for the industry in Ireland.

Coaching is a focus of Cian’s business model, with long-time clients such as Nikki Walker (CAN) and new recruits the Wachman brothers Tom and Max, who have both already competed for Ireland at European level as members of the Youth High Performance squads, with three gold medals between them. Coaching for Cian is a key element of the business, and students will need to be goal-oriented and aim high.

One of Cian’s top horses at the moment is Kilkenny (ISH) (previously MHS Fernhill) who was bred in Ireland by Ita Brennan in Co. Kilkenny. Kilkenny began his international career with Sophie Richards (IRL) in 2017, before being taken on by Duarte Seabra (POR) in 2019 where he progressed from Young Horse classes up to CSI4*. Cian then took over the ride in October 2020, kicking off in Vejer De La Frontera, Spain. The pair then competed in the CSIO4* at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida and took several top-ten placings in CSI5* classes including finishing third in the  $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix in March. It was a night of firsts for Kilkenny; first time under the lights, first time in a five star, first time jumping water in the big competition, so a very pleasing result.

Bertram Allen

Sport – Show Jumping

Age: 25

From :Co Wexford

Social Media: Facebook: Bertram Allen. Twitter: Bertram Allen (@BertramAllen123). Instagram: Bertram Allen (@bertramallen).

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=F4914227F3A9BEED0D3AB25CEE0235A3

Olympic Horse - Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory.

Key information:

Bertram has been competing for Ireland internationally since 2008, when he began competing ponies in Belgium. Not long after he travelled to the European Championships in 2001, where he took the individual gold medal and team silver medal. He has since competed at the youth EU Champs in 2012 and 2013, where he took team gold in 2012 and individual silver in 2013. He has competed on the Senior European team twice, first in 2015 with Molly Malone V, and then with Hector Van D’Abdijhoeve in 2017 where Ireland took their historic team gold medal. He has been to the World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses twice, in 2013 and 2014, with five different horses taking individual first place twice and second place once. He competed at the World Equestrian Games in Caen, France in 2014 where he finished in individual 7th and Team Ireland took 7th place, and his ranked 37th in the FEI Longines show jumping rankings, the 4th highest-ranked Irish show jumping rider. He has competed in a World Cup final in 2015 where he took 3rd place, and in a Nations Cup final in Barcelona also in 2015 where Ireland finished 5th.

Raised in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, in the South East Ireland, Bertram and his six siblings, April, Grace, Lucy, Ivan, Harry and Ruben, were born into a family with a strong equine influence.  Bertram's dad Bert had racehorses so an interest developed and Bertram went to the nearby riding stables, Carrigbeg where Sue, Chris, and Daphne Burgess thought him to ride. His Mum Geraldine was soon bringing him to weekly shows with his first pony Charlie B. Next were lessons from Mag and Con Power who together with Billy Twomey became the most influential people in his early career.

At the age of 15, Bertram moved permanently to Hünxe in Germany to develop his jumping skills. Marlene Schannwell, who is still Bertram’s show groom quickly joined him. Today the yard in Germany is busy with over 20 horses. April Allen, Bertram’s sister manages the yard on a daily basis.  During his fourth-year as a student in Newtown School, Waterford, Bertram’s brother Harry took full advantage of transition year and spent most of his time in Hunxe Germany, with brother Bertram and sister April. In 2018, Harry made his permanent move to Hünxe to join his siblings at Ballywalter Stables LTD.

32 Irish athletes competed in FEI competition at the recent Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. At 25 years of age Bertram Allen was one of the youngest of the strong Irish contingent in action throughout the 12-week tournament, but he turned out to be the biggest money-earner (His total winnings were $246,775).

Darragh Kenny

Sport – Show Jumping

Age: 33

From Co Offaly

Social Media: Facebook: Darragh Kenny. Twitter: Darragh Kenny (@dkenny08). Instagram: Oakland Stables (@oaklandstables).

Results:https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx p=54F57C0AE2FDB4AEFAC2EB791FAA501F

Olympic Horse - VDL Cartello (HOLST) – 2007 stallion by Cartani 4 (HOLST) out of B-Estelle (HOLST) by Lord (HOLST). Breeder: Witt Pferdezucht. Owner Lorcan Gallagher & Heathman Farm LLC

Key information:

Darragh is currently Ireland’s highest-ranked show jumper, at number 8 in the world. Darragh Kenny has been competing in the sport of show jumping since the age of 10., and first appeared for Ireland at the U18 European Championships in 2005, and then at the U21 EU Champs in 2007. In just two short years he progressed to jumping in four-star world cup classes, and not just competing but finishing in the top ten repeatedly. As the son of two trainers, PARENTS Catherine and Michael, he began his career in his homeland of Offaly, Ireland where he quickly rose in the ranks riding in his first grand prix at the young age of 14.

In 2007 at the age of 19, Darragh was invited to compete at the Dublin Horse Show as one of Ireland’s leading young riders where he won a training bursary to work with a top American coach at North Run Stables.

In September 2012, Darragh made the decision to leave North Run Farm and form Oakland Ventures, LLC. Since its inception, Oakland Ventures has become one of the most successful competition barns across the United States. In addition to his many successes around the world, Darragh represented Ireland at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 .

Darragh had a wonderful 2014 and 2015 season. In 2014 he was placed well in many important international competitions, such as CSI4* W North Salem, CSI5 * Los Angeles, Del mar , Toronto between others. He was also placed 12th individually at the World Equestrian Games in Normandie, FRA with the horse Imothep.

2015 brought what he considers the highlight of his career, when winning the Aga Khan in Dublin for Ireland.

In February of 2020, Darragh was crowned The Irish Field/Irish Horse World leading show jumper of 2019.

He is based between the United States and Europe, and won two five-star Grands Prix with his top mount, Balou du Reventon, in 2019 - the €500,000 Rolex Grand Prix in Knokke, Belgium, at the beginning of July and, two weeks later, in Chantilly, France where he scooped €99,000. He earned €250,000 when runner-up in the prestigious Super Grand Prix of Prague in December.

He was also part of the Irish team which qualified for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games when winning the Longines FEI Nations’ Cup final at Barcelona in 2019 and had a hugely successful run at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival where he placed in 27 separate competitions, and won the $73,000 five star Challenge Cup alongside four fellow Irish-men to make up the top five, on his Irish-bred Sligo Balou Boy. He was also the winner of the $137,000 Horseware Ireland three-star Grand Prix and was Ireland’s third highest earner at the Winter Equestrian Festival when pocketing a total of $157,645.

Shane Sweetnam

Sport – Show Jumping

Age 40

From -  Cork

Olympic Horse - -  Karlin Van’t Vennehof (BWP) – 2010 Mare by Fantomas De Muze (BWP) out of Fantomas De Muze (BWP) by Quasimodo Vd Molendreef D’08 (BWP). Breeder: Jos Voeten. Owner: Seabrook LLC & Shane Sweetnam

Social Media: Facebook: Shane Sweetnam. Instagram: Shane Sweetnam (@shanesweetnam).

Results: https://www.fei.org/athlete/10016165/SWEETNAM-Shane

 Shane began his Grand Prix career at sixteen and is now based in Florida, USA. Shane comes from a family steeped in equestrian tradition and is also a first cousin to Munster and Ireland rugby player Donnacha Ryan.

In 2017, 2019, and 2020 he was presented with the Niall Grimes Perpetual Trophy as the leading Irish rider during the CSIO Nations Cup week at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. Shane has been a key member of the Irish team for the past decade and was part of the team that won team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

He has competed at four European Championships and the 2018 World Equestrian Games.  

Shane and Karlin Van’t Vennehof were members of Ireland’s Longines FEI Nations Cup team earlier this year at La Baule CSIO 5* in France. Shane is ranked No.26 on the Longines World Rankings.

Sally Corscadden – Horse Sport Ireland Eventing High Performance Director

Sally Corscadden was born in Leicestershire and moved to Ireland in 1988, where she met her husband Brendan and set up the now well-known and highly-regarded equestrian training facility that is Grange Farm, The brilliant Tiger Roll is often seen schooling at Grange Farm.

Throughout her career as an international rider, Sally won events such as the CIC 3* at Thirlestane Castle, the final trial for the British and Irish European team in 1993, she also recorded wins in CCI’s at Ballindenisk and Blarney. At the 1993 European Championships, Sally was on the bronze medal-winning team and also placed individual 12th. Sally competed at the 1994 World Equestrian Games in the Hague, Netherlands where her team finished fifth.

Sally’s coaching career began shortly after the 1994 World Equestrian Games, when she became High Performance Coach to the Irish Junior Eventing Team who went on to win the team silver medal at the 1995 Junior European Championships in Gotland, Sweden. Sally also coached the Irish junior and pony teams that won team gold and team bronze at the European Championships in 2008 and 2015 respectively.

Sally became High Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe of the Irish Young Rider Squad in 2011 and in her first year Irish riders claimed the Team Silver Medal and Individual Bronze Medal at the Young Rider European Championships at Blair Castle, Scotland.

Sally is now the Eventing High-Performance Director at Horse Sport Ireland and manages the Senior Irish Eventing Team who won team and individual silver medals at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina and became the first Irish sports team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Sam Watson

Sport – Eventing

Age: 35

County: Carlow

Social Media: Instagram: Equiratings (@equiratings). Facebook: Sam Watson Eventing. Twitter: Sam Watson (@watsoneventing).

Horses -  Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) – 2009 dun gelding by Tullabeg Fusion (ISH) out of Tullabeg Heidi (UNK), by Ardenteggle Sir (IPSA). Bred by Nicholas Cousins, Co. Wexford. Owner: Vahe Bogossian;

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=9AF0ED75B7557650DB8044620202FC8F

Key information:

Sam began competing internationally for Ireland in 2002. He is currently ranked 46th in the FEI Eventing Athlete Rankings and is the second-highest ranked Irish Eventing rider after Cathal Daniels. Sam has represented Ireland at European level 13 times, at the Junior, Young Rider and Senior Eventing EU Champs and at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships in Le Lion D’Angers. He has also ridden at the World Equestrian Games three times, in 2010 and 2014 with Horseware Bushman (ISH), and 2018 with Horseware Ardagh Highlight (ISH), where the Irish team finished inside the top ten each time and in 2018 took the historical silver medal, Ireland’s first Eventing medal at the World Equestrian Games. Sam completed his first CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) in 2009, ad Badminton with Horseware Bushman (ISH), and has completed five Nations Cups events representing Ireland, including taking individual 1st and team 2nd at Camphire, Ireland in 2019 with Imperial Sky (ISH).

Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) and Sam began competing together in 2015, when they competed in Ireland in Young Horse classes and have progressed to CCI5*-L. They represented Ireland at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships in Le Lion D’Angers in 2016, and were members of the 2018 Nations Cup team in Boekelo in 2018 where they finished in individual 10th. They more recently competed at the European Eventing Championships in 2019 in Luhmühlen, finishing in team 6th, and made their CCI5*-L debut also in Luhmühlen in 2019, finishing in individual 12th.

Sam is co-founder of the sports data and analytics company EquiRatings. Their work is for anyone in the equine world who is looking for a better way to improve performance, manage risk, engage fans or guide Olympic programs.

Cathal Daniels

Sport - Eventing

Age: 24

From Galway

Social Media: Instagram: CDS Sporthorses (@cds_sporthorses). Facebook: Cathal Daniels Sport Horses. Twitter: Cathal Daniels (@cathaldaniels1).

Horse -  Rioghan Rua (ISH) – 2007 chestnut mare by Jack Of Diamonds (SWB) out of Highland Destiny (ISH)(TIH), by Flagmount King (ID). Bred by Margaret Kinsella, Co. Galway. Owner: Frank and Margaret Kinsella.

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=967649B840E7B0A912B7A32CB9F5B829

Key information:

Cathal competes internationally for Ireland primarily in Eventing, and also competed in Show Jumping most recently in 2020. He is Ireland’s highest-ranking Eventing rider in the FEI Eventing World Athlete Rankings, in 16th position with 368 points. He is also the youngest Irish rider in the top 100 Event riders, and is the only rider under 25 years of age in the top 20 riders.

He has been riding for Ireland since 2012, when at the age of 15 he travelled to Fontainebleau as a member of the European Pony Eventing team where Ireland took team gold. Since then, Cathal has competed at the U18 EU Champs twice, in 2013 and 2014 with Rioghan Rua (ISH) taking team gold both times; the U21 EU Champs twice, first with Rioghan Rua (ISH) in 2015 taking team bronze and later with Sammy Davis Junior in 2017 taking individual 4th place; and the Senior EU Champs with Rioghan Rua in 2019 where he took individual bronze, finishing on the podium alongside Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung (GER).

Cathal has also competed at the FEI/WBFSH World Eventing Championships for Young Horses in Le Lion D’Angers (FRA) on four occasions with six horses, first in 2014 with Rioghan Rua (ISH) – the same year they took team gold and individual silver at the EU Champs in Bishop Burton (GBR) – and then in 2016, 2019 and 2020, finishing in individual 5th place with LEB Empress (ISH) in 2020.

Cathal’s stand-out performance is winning the team silver medal for Ireland at the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games, where he and his career-long partner Rioghan Rua (ISH) finished in individual 26th and helped the Irish team to beat Team Germany to second place by one fence in the show jumping round, beaten only by Team GB. An appearance at the Olympic Games is the only achievement this pair are yet to take.

Stand-out horses & performance:

The aforementioned Rioghan Rua (ISH) is Cathal’s formidable partner in competition – the pair have been competing on the world stage together since 2012 – almost 10 years – and are rarely out of the ribbons. Rioghan Rua or Red to her friends, was bred by Margaret Kinsella in 2007, by Jack of Diamonds (SWE) and out of a Traditional Irish Horse mare, Highland Destiny by renowned Irish Draught sire Flagmount King. She has not competed internationally under any other rider, and made their debut at CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) in Pau, France where they finished in individual 12th place. The pair also competed on Nations Cup teams in 2015 at Ballindenisk and Boekelo and in Fontainebleau in 2016; and have competed at two further CCI5*-L events at Badminton in 2017 and Luhmühlen in 2018 where they finished in 7th place.

Sarah Ennis

Sport  - Eventing

Age: 46

From: Meath.

Social Media: Instagram: Sarah Ennis (@sarah_ennis_eventing). Facebook: Sarah Ennis Eventing. Twitter: Sarah Ennis Eventing (@SarahEnnisEvent).

Olympic Horse: Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH) [was Woodcourt Garrison] – 2009 gelding by Garrison Royal (ISH) out of Davitt Star (ISH) by Furisto (HANN). Breeder: Patrick J Kearns, Co. Laois. Owner: Breda Kennedy.

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=795AB324A3104BE0FE77746D3672C50B

Key information:

Sarah has been an international Evening rider for Ireland since 2002 and has ridden more than 50 horses in that time, at over 280 competitions.

Sarah has competed at three European Championships, with Horseware Woodcourt Garrison, Horseware Stellor Rebound and Sugar Brown Babe, all Irish-bred horses. Sarah has also competed at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion D’Angers with eight horses, from 2008 to 2019.

Sarah is hugely experienced in bringing young Event horses through the levels, is a Horse Sport Ireland accredited Coach, and is well-known for participating in Ireland’s national leagues for young horses, namely the Stepping Stones to Success league, and the Young Event Horse Series (previously the Future Event Horse League). She has won both the four-year-old and five-year-old Young Event Horse finals at the Dublin Horse Show.

Sarah is a qualified lab technician and worked for a lab for a number of years before deciding to dedicate her full attention to producing and competing horses. She grew up in Howth and used to ride her ponies on the beach. The first horse she took to the Young Rider Europeans was an ex-racehorse which had picked up an injury and was retired from racing. She won her first international in her mid 20’s beating William Foxpitt. At age 30 she met her husband Nikki and they set up their own yard. She has a real love for producing and training young horses and well known for participating in the national young horse leagues.

Sarah has competed at two European Championships and was a key member of the Irish team that won team silver at World Equestrian Games in 2018 and finished in individual 5th place. In 2020 and 2021, they have won three out of three starts at CCI4*-S here in Ireland at Ballindenisk, finishing once on their Dressage score and twice with only time penalties on Cross Country.

Sarah acquired the ride on Horseware Woodcourt Garrison in 2015, where they began competing in Young Horse classes here in Ireland before travelling to the UK and Germany to compete. They competed for Ireland at three Nations Cups in Ireland and the Netherlands, and in 2019 travelled to Luhmühlen, Germany to compete in the European Championships.

Austin O’Connor

Age: 45

County: From Cork, based at Attington Stud, Oxfordshire, UK.

Social Media: Instagram: Team O’Connor (@team_oconnor). Facebook: Austin O’Connor Eventing. Twitter: Austin O’Connor (@attington).

Horses

Results: https://data.fei.org/Person/Performance.aspx?p=4836DEFA9FBBD5BAA5DDC5B7D92A667A

Key information:

Austin O’Connor hails from County Cork, Ireland, and his family has been long rooted in the horse world. Cork is an Irish county synonymous with “all things horsey” with sport horse and National Hunt studs abound, and hunting, eventing, and racing endemic to life there. Austin was therefore naturally completely immersed in the equestrian way of life from early childhood. Eventing soon became his focus. Austin represented Ireland as a Junior and Young Rider and won team gold on the 1995 Young Rider Team in Germany. He continued to build on his early success and to date has represented Ireland on the Senior Team 7 times. He has also been an Olympic team representative for Ireland on two occasions: Sydney 2000 on Horseware Fabio and Beijing 2008 on Hobby du Mee. Austin has been selected for the World Equestrian Games on 3 occasions, with injuries sadly preventing him from making appearances.

In 1994 he came to England and has been based here ever since. In his time here, Austin has produced and ridden numerous horses at every level of eventing. At Badminton in 1999 he was 4th on Simply Rhett. In 2009 he was 8th at Luhmühlen on Pocket Rocket. Austin has also ridden many horses at four-star level during his time here in the UK. 2017 produced a number of international appearances for Austin, including being dubbed ‘cross country ride of the day’ with Kilpatrick Knight at Badminton CCI4*, a Bronze medal in the Irish leg of the FEI Nations Cup at Tattersalls with Balham Houdini and an FEI European Championships appearance in Strzegom, Poland, with Kilpatrick Knight. 2020 offered another long listing for the Tokyo Olympics following a good season with Colorado Blue.  This included a 3rd place finish at the Little Downham CCI4*S and a clear cross-country at his first CCI5* at Pau. Austin’s notable five-star appearances (all on Irish-bred horses) are: 13th on Ringwood Mississippi (ISH) in Lexington, KY in 2013; 15th also on Ringwood Mississippi (ISH) at Badminton in 2014; 16th on Balham Houdini (ISH) in Lexington, KY in 2015; and 26th at Badminton on Kilpatrick Knight (ISH) in 2017.

Colorado Blue is a 12 year old British-bred sport horse, who has been competing in international Eventing since 2015 and has been partnered with Austin for his whole career so far. The pair are yet to complete their first five stat together, but have run competitively at four star and three star, including two Nations Cup appearances in 2018 at Houghton Hall and Millstreet.

Heike Holstein

Sport - Dressage

Age: 49.

From: Kildare

Olympic Horse: Sambuca – 2009 mare by Samarant (HANN) out of Astoria (ISH) by Limmerick (HOLST). Bred by Heike Holstein, Co. Kildare. Owner: Jake & William Bell (Heike Holstein)

Social Media: Instagram: Heike Holstein Dressage (@heike_holstein). Facebook: Heike Holstein.

Achievements: European Dressage Championships Rotterdam 2019, Aachen Nations Cup Team 2019.

Heike Holstein has represented Ireland at three previous Olympic Games as an individual in the discipline of Dressage (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens in 04). Heike is a HSI level 3 Coach. Heike also bred and produced her Irish-bred horse Sambuca up to Grand Prix level.

Heike’s family have always been closely associated with equestrian sport both in Ireland and internationally. Her mother, Gisela Holstein, is a list one international dressage judge. Heike first sat on a pony at the age of two and, along with her younger brother Erik, went on to compete in showing and lead rein classes. She won her first Irish National Champion title in 1990 age 18, and has won it 11 times since.

Heike trained with 7 time Olympic medalist Dr Reiner Klimke for many years as his only pupil. Living in Germany gave her the opportunity to travel to many shows on the European circuit and learn from one of the all-time greats of dressage.

Team Ireland Names Largest Swim Team for Tokyo 2020

Nine Irish Swimmers to Compete in Olympics

Team Ireland has officially selected the Swimming team who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Nine Irish swimmers are set to compete across fourteen events, becoming the largest swim team that Ireland has ever fielded in an Olympic Games. The swimmers will be in action in the newly built Tokyo Aquatics Centre from Saturday 24 July – Sunday 1 August 2021.

The strength and depth of Irish swimming has been on display over the past number of years, culminating this year with the ultimate qualification of six swimmers who have achieved the FINA A time across their events, with many more coming agonisingly close to the required standard to compete for Team Ireland in Tokyo 2020.

Swimmers were faced with the first opportunity to achieve the standard in 2019, when Darragh Greene qualified in the 100m Breaststroke at the World Championships, the remaining five swimmers Rio Olympian Shane Ryan, Mona McSharry, Daniel Wiffen, Danielle Hill and Ellen Walshe showed their class by coming into form just in time for the Games, recording personal bests and FINA A times at the Tokyo Trials and Swim Ireland Performance Meet in April and June.   The Team Ireland Olympic quota spot in the Men’s 4 X 200m Freestyle Relay was confirmed following the close of rankings in June 2021.

Speaking about selection ahead of his first Olympic Games, Greene said,

The Olympics have been something that I have dreamt about for a long time, and it is a real honour to be officially selected to compete for Team Ireland in Tokyo. It has taken a lot of work to get to here, and to be surrounded by a strong team of swimmers makes it all the more special. The standard of racing in Ireland is so high across the board, and  it’s great to be finally saying that we are going to Tokyo!

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

The past few weeks have seen the numbers of qualified swimmers double, which has been very exciting. They are going into the Games with the biggest team ever, and it’s especially encouraging seeing the number of FINA A standard swimmers qualifying. The past year has been tough for everyone, but seeing how our swimmers handled that first lockdown, coming out of it producing personal bests and national records, in challenging circumstances has been a true test of resilience."   

Jon Rudd, National Performance Director and Team Leader for the Games said,

This has been the longest ever Olympic cycle and qualification period that the sport has faced. To have nine swimmers amongst an eleven member aquatics team for the Games is an excellent outcome for our sport and all those involved. A double Trials and a protracted relay appeal meant that many of our athletes have not known until very recently whether they would or could be selected to this team, an uncertainty that has been difficult for everyone, especially those who narrowly missed out. The standard of swimming in Ireland is growing, and without all these athletes striving for improvement, we would not be where we are today, fielding the largest ever swim team for Ireland.


TEAM IRELAND SWIMMERS:

Darragh Greene

Danielle Hill

Brendan Hyland

Finn McGeever

Jack McMillan

Mona McSharry

Shane Ryan

Ellen Walshe

Daniel Wiffen

Team Ireland now consists of 88 officially selected athletes, with over 110 athlete spots confirmed across nineteen sports. There are four final team announcements to come over the coming days, the official closing date for registering athletes was 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

Olympic Swimming Team – Tokyo 2020

NameHome ProgrammeCoachEvents Entered
Darragh GreeneNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson100m Breaststroke 200m Breaststroke
Danielle HillLarne SCPeter Hill100m Backstroke 50m Freestyle
Brendan HylandNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson200m Butterfly 4x200m Freestyle Relay
Finn McGeeverNational Centre (Limerick)John Szaranek4x200m Freestyle Relay
Jack McMillanBangor SCPaul Dennis4x200m Freestyle Relay  
Mona McSharryUniversity of TennesseeMatt Kredich100m Breaststroke 200m Breaststroke
Shane RyanNational Centre (Dublin)Ben Higson100m Backstroke 100m Butterfly 4x200m Freestyle Relay
Ellen WalsheTempleogue SCBrian Sweeney200m Individual Medley 100m Butterfly
Daniel WiffenLoughborough UniversityAndi Manley800m Freestyle 1500m Freestyle

Name: Darragh Greene

Age: 25

Club: National Centre Dublin / Longford Swimming Club

Coach: Ben Higson

Hometown: Newtownforbes, Longford

Main Events: 100m/200m Breaststroke

Olympic Consideration Times Achieved: 100m/200m Breaststroke

Notable Achievements

2021 Olympic Games Pre-Validation

2021 European Aquatics Championships

2020 International Swimming League

2019 European SC Championships: Finalist

2019 World Championships: Semi-Final 50m Breaststroke

2018 World Short Course Championships

2018 European Aquatics Championships:

100m Breaststroke Semi-Finalist (8th)

First Irishman under 1:00 in 100m Breaststroke

2018 & 2019 National Breaststroke Champion in 50m, 100m, 200m

Irish Senior Record Holder: 50m,100m, 200m Breaststroke

Name: Danielle Hill

Age: 21

Club: Larne Swimming Club

Coach: Peter Hill

Hometown: Newtownabbey, Antrim

Main Events: 50m/100m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke

Olympic Consideration Time Achieved: 100m Backstroke

Notable Achievements

2021 European Aquatics Championships

2019 European SC Championships: Finalist

2019 Irish National Champion: 50m Freestyle, 50m, 100m Backstroke

2018 Commonwealth Games Finalist

Irish Senior Record Holder: 50m, 100m Freestyle, 50m, 100m Backstroke

Name: Brendan Hyland

Age: 26

Club: National Centre Dublin / Tallaght Swimming Club

Coach: Ben Higson

Hometown: Knocklyon, Dublin

Main Event: 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Notable Achievements

2021 European Championships: Finalist

2019 Performance Swimmer of the Year

2019 World Championships:

200m Butterfly Semi-Final (11th)

2019 European SC Championships: Finalist

2018 World Short Course Championships:

200m Butterfly (10th)

2018 European Championships:

200m Butterfly Semi-Finalist (9th)

2017 World LC Championship Qualifier

Irish Senior Record Holder: 200m IM - 100m, 200m Butterfly

7 x 100m and 8 x 200m Butterfly Irish National Champion

Name: Mona McSharry

Age: 20

Club: University Of Tennessee/ Marlins Swimming Club

Coach: Matt Kredich

Hometown: Grange, Sligo

Main Events: 100m/200m Breaststroke

Olympic Consideration Time Achieved: 100m Breaststroke

Notable Achievements

2021 European Aquatics Championships

2019 Bronze Medal European SC Championships (50m breaststroke)

2018 European Championships

2018 World Schools Games Champion: 50m, 100m Breaststroke

2017 Euro SC Semi-Finalist

2017 World Junior Champion 100m Breaststroke

2017 European Junior Champion 50m, 100m Breaststroke

Irish Senior Record Holder: 50m, 100m, 200m Breastroke & 50m Butterfly

Name: Finn McGeever

Age: 20

Club: National Centre Limerick / Limerick Swimming Club

Coach: John Szaranek

Hometown: Ballina, Tipperary

Main Event: 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Notable Achievements

2021 European Championships: Finalist

2018 European Junior Championships

Irish Senior Record holder: 400m Freestyle

Name: Jack McMillan

Age: 21

Club: Bangor Swimming Club

Coach: Paul Dennis

Hometown: Belfast, Antrim

Main Event: 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Notable Achievements

2021 European Championships: Finalist

2019 European SC Championships: Finalist

2019 World Championships

2019 European SC Championships: Finalist

2017 & 2018 European Junior Championships

2018 World Schools Games: Gold 200m Freestyle, Silver 100m Freestyle

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games 

Irish Senior Record holder: 200m Freestyle 

Name: Shane Ryan

Age: 26

Club: National Centre Dublin / NAC Swimming Club

Coach: Ben Higson

Hometown: Pennsylvania USA | Irish hometown: Portarlington

Main Events: 100m Backstroke/100m Butterfly

Olympic Consideration Time Achieved: 100m Backstroke

Notable Achievements

2021 European Aquatics Championships

2019 & 2020 International Swimming League – signed up to Toronto Titans for 2021 season

2019 World Championships

2019 European SC Championships: Bronze Medal 50m Backstroke

2018 World SC Championships: Bronze 50m Backstroke

Name: Ellen Walshe

Age: 19

Club: Templeogue Swimming Club

Coach: Brian Sweeney

Hometown: Templeogue, Dublin

Main Event: 200m Individual Medley

Notable Achievements

2021 European Championships

2019 World Championships

2017 World Junior Championships

2018 Finalist European Junior Championships

2018 Gold Medal World School Games (200m butterfly)

2015 Silver Medal European Youth Olympic Games (100m butterfly)

Irish Senior Record holder in: 200m Individual Medley, 100m Butterfly

Name: Daniel Wiffen

Age: 19

Club: Loughborough University / Larne Swim Club

Coach: Andi Manley

Hometown: Magheralin, Co. Down

Main Events: 800m and 1500m Freestyle

Olympic Consideration Time Achieved: 800m Freestyle

Notable Achievements

2021 European Championships

2019 European SC Championships

2019 World Junior Championships

2019 European Junior Championships

Irish Senior Record Holder: 800m and 1500m Freestyle

Team Ireland Rugby Sevens Squad Named for Tokyo 2020

First Ever Irish Rugby Sevens Team to Compete in the Olympics

Team Ireland has officially selected the Rugby Sevens team who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. This is the first time that Ireland will field a rugby team in the Games, with the Rugby Sevens event making its debut in 2016 at Rio. The events will take place in the Tokyo Stadium, and will run from Monday 26 July until Wednesday 28 July 2021.

The Irish team dominated the final Olympic repechage on the 19-20 June in Paris, when they overcame all teams en route to a sensational clash with pre-competition favourites France. With one Olympic spot up for grabs at the World Rugby Sevens Repechage, the Irish team left no stone unturned, emerging as the winners. 

The team will now compete in Pool C, facing South Africa, USA and Kenya in matches which are fast moving and seven minutes per half and a two minute break between the halves. There are seven players on the field of play at all times, and throughout the game only five substitutions can be made. The top two teams from the pool rounds move into the quarter final rounds, as well as the two best third placed teams. These are followed by semi-finals and finals.

Team Captain Billy Dardis is looking forward to the team making their Olympic debut,

Having the honour of being selected to captain Ireland at the Olympics is special and I don't think I'll come to realise the enormity of it for some time to come. Going to Tokyo, we as a squad are representing so much more than ourselves and our families, but Irish Sport and Irish Rugby on the biggest sporting stage. To lead this group out at the Olympics will be an extremely proud moment.”

Greg O’Shea is no stranger to the Olympic movement, and previously competed in the Youth Olympics as a sprinter,

The Olympics is the pinnacle of sport, so to represent Ireland at the Games is a huge honour and it means even more to be there playing alongside my mates. All the hard work and sacrifice has been worth it and now I just cannot wait to get out there and play.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

It’s an exciting addition to have another team sport joining us in Tokyo. We were all captivated by the exhilarating qualification event in Monaco, and the momentum that they will bring into the Games, they are in form, and we are really looking forward to seeing what they can do now in Tokyo."   

Anthony Eddy, IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby team said,

We are delighted to be representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics. The squad has worked extremely hard for this opportunity, and they will be determined to perform well and represent their country with distinction. Very few rugby players get the opportunity to play rugby for their country at the biggest sporting event in the world and this squad of players should be very proud of their achievement and they will be the first of many more to come.

TEAM IRELAND RUGBY SEVENS TEAM:

Ireland-Mens-Sevens-2021-BiographiesDownload

Jordan Conroy

Billy Dardis

Ian Fitzpatrick

Foster Horan

Jack Kelly

Terry Kennedy

Adam Leavy

Hugo Lennox

Harry McNulty

Gavin Mullin

Greg O’Shea

Mark Roche

Bryan Mollen - Reserve

Team Ireland now consists of 79 officially selected athletes, with over 110 athlete spots confirmed across nineteen sports. There are five final team announcements to come over the coming week, the official closing date for registering athletes was 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

Team Ireland has officially selected two divers who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. For the first time in history, an Irish female diver will be competing at the Games, following the qualification of Tanya Watson in the Women’s 10m Platform. Ollie Dingley will be competing in his second Games, in the Men’s 3m Springboard event. Irish interest in the diving competition take place in the purpose built Tokyo Aquatics Centre from the 2 – 5 August 2021.

In diving the athletes must complete six dives in a preliminary round, with each dive being scored by seven judges based on the execution. Once all the scores are added together, the top two and bottom two are eliminated, with the remaining three scores added together and multiplied by the degree of difficulty rating of the dive, which gives the total.

Speaking on his selection, Rio Olympian Ollie Dingley said,

“Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who made this possible. It’s a real privilege to represent Ireland at my second Olympic Games. I feel very lucky that we can get to go and compete at the Olympics after what has been a very uncertain time for everybody. This will be my third competition in over two years, and I really just can’t wait to get out there and compete and do my best.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

“It’s great to see us qualify the two divers, recognising that Tanya has made history, by becoming the first Irish female diver to compete at the Olympic Games, but also pleasingly, she has progressed from our Youth Olympic team of 2018. For Ollie this will be his second Games, with his fantastic performance in the finals in Rio being one of the Irish sporting highlights of the Games. We know it has been a challenging qualifying pathway and we are very excited to support them both."  

Jon Rudd, Swim Ireland Performance Director said:

“We’re all thrilled to see this talented team of two selected to compete in diving at the Games, particularly as this is the very first time we’ve ever fielded more than one diver at an Olympics - as well as Tanya having the honour of being our first ever female Olympic diver. It’s great to see Oliver at his second Games too, particularly as a finalist in 2016, and we can look forward to some exciting days of competition in the Olympic weeks ahead.”

TEAM IRELAND DIVING TEAM:

Oliver (Ollie) Dingley – Men’s 3m Springboard

Tanya Watson – Women’s 10m Platform

Team Ireland now consists of 67 officially selected athletes, with over 100 athletes spots confirmed across nineteen sports SEE HERE. There are six final team announcements to come over the coming week, with the official closing date for registering athletes at 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

Name: Tanya Watson

Age: 19

Club: National Centre Dublin/Southampton DC

Hometown: Southampton, UK

Main Event: Platform (10m)

Notable Achievements

2021 European Aquatics Championships Finalist

2021 Semi Finalist FINA Diving World Cup

2019 Irish Open Diving Champion - Platform

2019 World Championships

2019 FINA Grand Prixes

2018 World Junior Championships: Finalist

2018 European Championships: Finalist

2018 European Juniors: Finalist

2018 Youth Olympic Games: Finalist

Name: Oliver Dingley

Age: 28

Club: National Centre Dublin / Shamrock Diving Club

Coach: Damian Ball – Swim Ireland National Diving Coach

Hometown: Harrogate, UK

Main Event: 3M Springboard

Notable Achievements

Irish Record Holder: 1M and 3M Springboard

2021 FINA Diving World Cup: Semi-Finalist

2019 World Championships: Semi-Finalist

2019 FINA Diving Grand Prix Bronze Medal (3M Mixed Synchro)

2019 & 2017 Diving World Series

2018 World Cup Finalist

2017 World Championships

Rio 2016 Olympic Finalist

2016/18/19 European Championships: Finalist

World Class Team Ireland Golf Team Confirmed for Tokyo 2020

Full contingent of four players officially selected

Team Ireland has officially selected the golfers who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Ireland will be fielding a full contingent in Tokyo, having qualified two players in both the Men’s Individual Stroke Play, and the Women’s Individual Stroke Play, each event takes place over four days. The golf venue is the Kasumigaseki Country Club on the outskirts of Tokyo city, and the tournament runs from Thursday 29 July until Saturday 7 August 2021,

The men’s event is the first on the golf schedule, and will feature Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, both of whom are in action this week at the Irish Open. In the women’s event Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow are both competing in their second Olympic Games, and have just come off the Women’s PGA Championship, where Maguire posted her best-ever result in a major Championship, finishing fifteenth.

Speaking on her selection, Maguire said,

“Rio was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world, and to represent Ireland on the stage like that is an incredible honour. I’m really looking forward to Tokyo. Golf is massive in Asia and particularly Japan. It will be my first time in Japan, and hopefully I can take the experiences that I had in Rio and build on it. In Rio I played well, but I think I was caught up in the experience of it, and was happy to be there. But I’m a little more dialled in for Tokyo, and I’m trying to finish as high up that leader board as I can.”

Lowry is heading into his first Olympics, and with his brother as Caddy, he is looking forward to competing in the Games,

“It is starting to be real. We played the US Open recently, so were really focused on that. And then all of a sudden it’s ‘wow, the Olympics is actually pretty close,’ so it’s very exciting. It’s such an exciting experience to go through all the gear – everybody knows how patriotic I am, so to have your own gear with our team logo on it is pretty cool!

“Obviously Rory is going to be one of the favourites there, if not the favourite going into the tournament, so I’d be doing my best to beat him to the gold medal! Bu then you’ve got Leona and Stephanie there as well – Leona’s form over the past few weeks has been amazing. I think as a team if we brought back a couple of medals it would be amazing. For me growing up I never thought I would play the Olympics or be an Olympian, so to be able to go there and to stand on the podium with Amhrán na bhFiann would be a dream come true. It would just be cool to bring the medal back to Ireland.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

We are very excited to have a full contingent of Golfers representing Team Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. All four players are world class with Leona and Stephanie already having a multi-Games experience in Rio. It’s also very special to have globally recognised players like Rory and Shane competing for the first time at an Olympics.  There are medals for the taking and while no doubt this is a different type of tournament to what they normally play, it will be great to watch the competitions unfold.."   

Neil Manchip, Golf Ireland High Performance Director and National Coach said:

“I am delighted that, after such and incredibly difficult 17 months, we are heading to the Olympic Games with Shane Lowry, Leona Maguire, Rory McIlroy and Stephanie Meadow, a team of the most talented golfers to have emerged from Ireland in recent times, and who are looking forward to representing their country with distinction. That we are able to attend the Games in Japan is a tribute to remarkable efforts of the organising committee of the Games, and our hosts in particular.

“The players are acutely aware of the demands and requirements that participation in the Games bring during this time, but they and we are also very aware of the remarkable privilege they enjoy in being able to, not only represent their country, but also to represent their sport on the global stage at this most difficult time.

“We are, of course, hoping to give our home fans something to cheer in our hopes for an Olympic Medal, but beyond that, hope that our presence, participation and competitiveness in the Games gives cheer to the millions of golf fans across the globe. It’s a terrific reflection of the quality, depth and strength of Irish golf that both our men’s and women’s teams go to Japan with serious intent of winning medals. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

David Kearney, Women’s Golf Team Coach said,

’Whilst the Olympics is very different to a normal LPGA Tour week, our players have done a great job preparing and planning as if it’s the same and we’re delighted to finally have the team formally selected. With Covid-19 considerations there are more potential performance disablers but we will be prepared to be agile and acceptant of not everything being as it normally is. This agility will help create the optimum performance space. 

“All players have shown some great form this year and both Stephanie and Leona already have an Olympic Games under their belt at Rio. Personally, I’m very proud to have known them both since they were 9 and 11 years old respectively and am looking forward to supporting them in Tokyo, along with everyone else in Ireland.”

TEAM IRELAND GOLF TEAM:

Shane Lowry – Men’s Individual Stroke Play

Rory McIlroy – Men’s Individual Stroke Play

Leona Maguire – Women’s Individual Stroke Play

Stephanie Meadow – Women’s Individual Stroke Play

Team Ireland now consists of 65 officially selected athletes, with over 100 athletes spots confirmed across nineteen sports SEE HERE. There are six final team announcements to come over the coming week, with the official closing date for registering athletes at 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

McClenaghan and Ryan Set for Olympic Debut

Team Ireland has officially selected the artistic gymnastics team who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Rhys McClenaghan (Co. Down) will compete in the Men’s Pommel Horse and Meg Ryan (Cork) in the Women’s All-Around which takes place in the Ariake Gymnastics Centre from Saturday 24 July until Tuesday 3 August.  

Both gymnasts will be competing in the Olympic Games for the first time, although they have both previously competed in European Youth Olympic Festivals. World Bronze Medallist and European Gold Medallist McClenaghan qualified for Tokyo 2020 based on his World Championship performance in October 2019 when he finished third, setting himself up as one of the favourites heading into this year’s Games. In Tokyo McClenaghan will compete in the qualification rounds on the 24 July, before his main focus, the Men’s Pommel Horse Final on Sunday 1 August.

For Ryan the wait was a little longer, at the World Championships she finished just outside the automatic qualification, as first reserve, and was offered the quota spot once Olympic rankings in gymnastics closed this week. The All-Around for women involves athletes competing across four events – the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and the floor exercise. Athletes move through qualification rounds into the finals, with a further opportunity for medals in the individual finals also. In gymnastics the athletes are judged based on execution, degree of difficulty and overall presentation skills.

Speaking on his selection, McClenaghan, who turns 22 just days before his competition, said,

“I’m incredibly proud to be officially named as going to the Olympic Games. I mean, that’s a childhood dream come true. Especially that moment when I found out that I would definitely be going to the Olympic Games at the 2019 World Championships. It was just one of those moments that will stick in my head forever, and it’ll be something that I look back on in the next 50 years, I still remember it so vividly.”

Both McClenaghan and Ryan have been part of the Gymnastics Ireland pathway for the past ten years. For Ryan the official announcement is a special moment,

“It’s just so unreal to actually be going to the Olympic Games. When we collected our kit it all became very real. I have been working a long time towards this moment, I started when I was about four or five years old, and have been working in the Gymnastics pathway since I was eight. It’s great to be continuing on and competing in Tokyo.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

Congratulations to both Rhys and Meg on their official selection, they have both worked incredibly hard to be at this level, and we are delighted to welcome them into the team. In recent years Rhys has been an inspiration to so many with his history making performances for Ireland in World and European competition. While Meg who is one of our youngest athletes, is testament to the very strong pathway structures and quality coaching that exists in Gymnastics Ireland. We are looking forward to supporting them in Tokyo.."   

Leading Team Ireland's gymnasts is Gymnastics Performance and Technical Manager, Sally Johnson who said,

It has been an incredible journey to these Olympic Games.  Coaches Luke and Emma have worked extremely hard in preparing Rhys and Meg for these Games starting from their very first session at a young age on the Irish Squad program, both following through to compete in the Youth Olympic Games, Junior Europeans and leading into the Senior program representing Ireland in World Cups, European Championships and World Championships.

I would also like to give a special mention to Sport Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute for all the support provided in the gymnastics programme.

For the gymnasts, coaches and their families, myself and the Gymnastics Ireland team, it is a very proud selection.  We are looking forward to finally travelling to the Games and I wish them the very best of luck and hope it will be a great experience for all.”

TEAM IRELAND GYMNASTICS TEAM:

Rhys McClenaghan (Men’s Pommel Horse)

Meg Ryan (Women’s All-Around)

Team Ireland now consists of 61 officially selected athletes, with over 100 athletes spots confirmed across nineteen sports SEE HERE. There are seven final team announcements to come over the coming week, with the official closing date for registering athletes at 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

Rhys McClenaghan

Born – 21 July 1999

From – Newtownards, Co. Down

Club – National Gymnastics Training Centre

Coach – Luke Carson

Year Started Gymnastics – 2005

Major Achievements:

2016 European Championships
2017 World Cup
2017 World Championships
2017 World Challenge Cup Made history when he became the first Irish gymnast to win a medal at the
2018 European Championships when he claimed gold in the pommel horse.
2018 World Cup
2018 World Challenge Cup
2018 World Championships He became the first Irish gymnast to win a medal at the World Championships when he won bronze in the pommel horse at the 2019 also securing his place in the Tokyo Olympic games 2019 World Challenge Cup – Paris 2019 World Challenge Cup – Koper 2019 World Challenge Cup - Zhaoqing
2019 Winner of FIG World Cup Series on Pommel-Horse for his multiple medals and outstanding performance in the World Cup in Paris Named Gymnastics Ireland “Gymnast of the Year” in 2017 & 2018 Two time RTE Young sports person of the year in 2018 & 2019

Meg Ryan

Born – 2002

From – Cork

Club – Douglas GC

Coach – Emma Hamill

Year Started Gymnastics – 2007

Major Achievements:

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