Olympic Sport Update - 26 November 2020

Last weekend we had a number of highlights from Equestrian and Golf, with a round up of those medal winning performances from Eventer Cathal Daniels and Golfer Stephanie Meadows. This weekend will be another relatively quiet one, and we have also included an interview with Jack Woolley who is preparing for his first competition since the pandemic started. For anyone interested in getting the transcript, it is available on request.  

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

Dare to Believe on RTÉ After School Hub Winter Games – Following last week’s announcement of FBD’s sponsorship of the programme several of the Dare to Believe ambassadors have featured on RTÉ’s After School Hub Winter Games. The aim of this has been to introduce younger children to the Olympic sports in a fun and interactive way.

Equestrian

Last weekend Ireland’s 2019 European Championship bronze medallist in Eventing Cathal Daniels (Galway) continued his preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games with a commanding win in the feature CC14*_S at the Portugal Winter Tour in Barroca d’Alva. While this event held a chance for some international athletes to achieve the qualification standard needed for the Games, it was not relevant to Ireland, who have already made history with full teams qualified in all disciplines – Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping. Full report HERE.

Golf

After a three week break Stephanie Meadows and Leona Maguire were competing in the Pelican Women’s Championship Presented by Dex Imaging & Konica Minolta in Belleair, Florida from the 19-22 November. Stephanie finished third on the LPGA tour, which sees her jump a couple of places to 38th in the Olympic rankings. Leona finished T53, and also has jumped a few spots to 43rd in Olympic rankings.

Stephanie Meadow credited the huge team behind her after matching her career best LPGA Tour finish with a third place result at the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Playing in the final group alongside eventual champion Sei Young Kim and Ally McDonald, the Jordanstown professional recovered from bogeys at her opening two holes to post a hard-fought one-under par round of 69 for a nine-under par tournament total and a podium finish. The result ties her career-best performance, last earned at the 2014 US Women’s Open and is proof that the hard work is paying off for the now 28-year old. Full report HERE

Swimming

Saturday (28th Nov) is the final week of Swim Ireland Performance Athletes Time Trial Series. Athletes who have been training at the National Sports Campus, UL Sport and in Bangor will race against each other in the third of the series at the NAC. This is the first time that athletes will come together with the previous two race days held in their home pools as virtual races.

Taekwondo

This week’s interview was with Ireland’s Taekwondo star, Jack Woolley. Earlier this year Jack successfully secured Ireland’s first every spot in Taekwondo, competing in the -58kg category. In this interview (transcript available on request), Jack talks about some of the strategic decisions that were made when planning competitions that ultimately led to Olympic qualification, and also about the strides that he has made in his own training during lockdown.

Next week Woolley travels to Bosnia, where he will prepare for competition in the European Championships which takes place on the 10 December. WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

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