After last weekend’s lull in competition from an Olympic perspective, it is great to report that we have several athletes in action this week across a few sports, and some sporting updates too!
The Olympic qualification status of the athletes can be found AT THIS LINK which will be regularly updated. While many athletes are currently training from home, with little competition, see below a summary of sports which will see Irish Olympic hopefuls in action this coming weekend. This weekly update is provided in collaboration with the various National Governing Bodies, and the press officer contact details for each sport is provided below.
Olympic Federation of Ireland Updates
This week we had several significant announcements –
Elections for the Executive Board – on Tuesday we issued a release outlining the nine candidates who will be seeking election to the Executive Board of the Olympic Federation of Ireland – there will be seven positions available. Note that this is the first election since we voted in a minimum gender balance of 40% at our AGM in September.
Dare to Believe Expands with FBD Sponsorship – Yesterday we announced that FBD will be the sponsors of the second phase of Dare to Believe with this phase expanding to include 25 athlete ambassadors who will deliver their stories to schoolchildren nationwide. In its first year the programme surpassed all targets with over 5000 children benefiting from the course.
This week the Irish Showjumpers were in action at the FEI Nations Cup at Vilamoura in Portugal where they finished in a share of third place with Italy and Great Britain. After a very tight opening round they were one of eight teams to advance to the second round, and had a final score of 16 points. In action were Sligo’s Richard Howley with Arlo De Blondel, Galway’s Michael Duffy with Zilton SL Z and Tipperary’s Shane Breen with Z7 Ipswich.
Team Ireland will have a full Equestrian team in Tokyo for the first time in Olympic history – having qualified in every event – Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping. The riders (and horses) have yet to be selected.
Like most events on the sports calendar was scheduled for earlier this year, and has been postponed – you can follow the full action on the LPGA social channels, with Irish specific updates on the ILGU channels.
This week as part of our ongoing sport updates we chatted to AIFRIC KEOGH from the Women’s Four (W4-), the Galway rower who is based in Cork at the National Rowing Centre. She spoke about what the medal has meant to her, and life in lockdown at the National Rowing Centre.
Rowing is enjoying an all-time high with four crews already set to compete in Tokyo next year. The boats that have secured berths so far are the Women’s Single (W1X), Women’s Pair (W2-), Men’s Double Scull (M2X) and Men’s Lightweight Double Scull (LM2X). Note that the athletes will not be selected for these crews until closer to the Games, and competition is tight for all spots.
In rowing there are just two opportunities to qualify for the Olympics – at the World Championships the year prior to the Games (2019), where the majority of spots are available. And also at the European Qualifier which take place two months before the Games.
Ironically, at the European qualifier crews from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA can also compete at this regatta (AUS, CAN and USA already have qualified), and for the Women’s Four there are just two spots available. Should they qualify, the crew that competes at the European Qualifier in Lucerne next May must remain the same for the Olympic Games.
There is also an outside chance that Ireland can qualify a Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (LW2X) at the same regatta. Note that this will be the last year that there will be lightweight events in rowing at the Olympic Games, a boat type that Ireland is historically successful at.
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