Ireland’s Natalya Coyle earned a top-10 position in the fencing ranking round – the opening event of the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup Final.
The 30-year-old from Meath, who has already qualified for her third Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, scored 21 victories from her 35 bouts for a share of 8th place alongside Michelle Gulyas of Hungary and Anastasiya Prokopenko of Belarus.
With 226 points Coyle lies 30 points off the lead, held by Amira Kandil of Egypt, heading into tomorrow’s remaining disciplines – swimming, riding and Laser Run.
Competing in an event that mirrors the Tokyo 2020 Olympic format with 36 female and 36 male athletes, Sive Brassil and Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe didn’t fare quite so well on the piste as their Irish team-mate.
Brassil, 27, managed 13 wins for a score of 178 points and a share of 27th place, while two-time Olympian Lanigan-O’Keeffe battled his way to 16 victories (196 points) and a ranking of 21st in the men’s event.
The remaining disciplines in the men’s final in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, follow on Saturday (May 15).
The World Cup Final is the penultimate opportunity for pentathletes to improve their position in the UIPM Olympic Ranking List, which will determine the majority of the remaining qualifiers for Tokyo 2020.
The last qualification competition will be the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships in Cairo, Egypt in June.
For live competition coverage visit UIPM TV, the UIPM website or download the “UIPM Central” app.
“How do you manage to fit in all the practice and still be a doctor as well?” Daniel, aged 9, to Irish goalkeeper Grace O’Flanagan.
The hand-written letter landed in her mailbox at the end of a 14-hour shift before heading into a weekend of training with the Green Army.
The letter landed in February 2020 as she was working her way back into Olympic contention having taken a year out in the wake of the 2018 World Cup silver medal run.
As second choice goalkeeper behind Ayeisha McFerran, O’Flanagan’s role was an understated but absolutely crucial one. But it was perhaps her intervention a year before which was the most vital save of all, denying Rani Rampal from the penalty flick spot with her first touch of the qualifiers.
McFerran had been sent to the sin-bin and India were one up; lose and Ireland were likely set to sit out another major tournament. She guess right, Ireland fought back and the bandwagon’s wheels started to roll.
In the wake of London’s heroics, though, O’Flanagan had to take a year out to focus on her job as a surgical trainee, soon to be a specialist registrar, before thinking about whether or not to battle for a place in the Tokyo squad.
“Safe to say, [that letter] brought a smile to my face!” Indeed, it’s a question the Railway Union shot-stopper has been trying to work out for the guts of a decade, marrying an intense career on and off the pitch.
“I love to try and balance it all but the reality is I had jobs where the hours were too much, I wouldn’t make training sessions. It was looking after my mental health, there’s only so much you can do, so I took the decision after the World Cup to take a break because I had been doing so much.”
When the pandemic hit and Tokyo 2020 postponed, it meant all hands on deck and she spent six months working frontline in Covid hospitals.
Gradually, though, international hockey came back into view in the autumn and now, with the vaccine roll-out in place, O’Flanagan has been able to take the decision to take work-leave and solely play hockey for the coming months with June's European Championships and the reset Tokyo dates a month later.
“My availability for work would have been too little really. I didn’t want to leave my colleagues stretched or short-staffed so the easier thing was that I would focus on training especially considering the quarantine issue every time we travel.
“It would have been just too much time out of work had I been in and out. I’m definitely glad I’ve made that decision, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I think I would always have looked back and wondered ‘what if’ if I hadn’t given it everything I have, so that was my thinking going in to this. I’m enjoying every minute of it, but I’m looking forward to getting back to work. But this is an opportunity I had to go for.”
As such, it puts her in line for another loop on the rollercoaster of emotions. Eightheen months before the World Cup, she was diagnosed with cancer in her neck.
Her medical intuition suggested it was more than tight muscles after a tough training block. It allowed her to a catch an aggressive type of soft tissue sarcoma — an epithelioid variant of myxofibrosarcoma to be exact — early enough.
“I knew the kind of cancer they suspected and knew it had a poor outlook,” she said of that moment. “All of a sudden, I went from being a healthy 26-year-old to maybe not being alive in five years’ time. That was daunting!”
It is why she has an empathy with the powerful Darkness Into Light message and the ability to come back from your lowest moments, a central reason why she is delighted to be among the Pieta House fundraiser’s ambassadors.
“When I was asked, it was something I absolutely jumped at it,” she said. “My experience as a doctor and an athlete gives me a unique insight into the importance of mental health.
“It is definitely part of everyday life for me in work and in my sport. As athletes, we have to pay really close attention to our physical but also our mental well-being, looking at how our mood is every day, our sleep, all those things make a difference to our performance.”
At work, meanwhile, she spent the first six months of the pandemic working in Covid hospitals where she saw all kinds of strain among her patients and colleagues.
“I see a lot of patients with mental health issues coming into hospitals in crisis. The reality is most of us know someone who struggles from mental health issues, most know someone affected by suicide.
“That’s the importance of Darkness into Light and Pieta, helping them. The idea of 200,000 people coming together at one time for sunrise to show support, to show we are standing up for mental health issues, to show we are fighting against suicide is a really important message.
“It has been a difficult year for healthcare workers, for the health service, for our patients and the general public. Thankfully, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines rolling out, numbers going down, things opening up. That’s really positive and we are seeing the relief in hospitals.”
Swim Ireland have confirmed a large team of 24 athletes (20 swimmers and 4 divers) for the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, which begin today at the Duna Arena.
The focus for the divers will be on further preparation for the Olympic Games, with two athletes certain to be invited to Tokyo 2021 at this stage, whilst the other half of the contingent await further clarification on their Olympic status.
The focus for the swimming contingent will be on Tokyo 2021 relay qualification - this will be an attempt to qualify an Irish relay to the Games for the first time since 1972.
The quartet that competed for Olympic qualification at the FINA Diving World Cup in Japan last week will once again form the diving team, with Oliver Dingley, Clare Cryan, Ciara McGing, and Tanya Watson aiming for big performances after an exciting return to competition in Tokyo.
No Olympic qualification is available to the divers on this occasion, but the swimming team have been selected with a specific and clear aim of grabbing some of the remaining Olympic relay spots, which are still open to the world at large until the qualification period ends on May 31.
Olympic Relay Qualifying
The Olympic relay qualification process sees the 12 highest finishing nations in each Olympic relay event at the 2019 FINA World Championships (held in Gwangju, South Korea) having automatically qualified for the Games.
With a total of 16 Olympic slots available per relay, each event has four positions still available, with Ireland currently sitting in two Top-16 positions leading into this competition.
The Irish Men's 4x100m Medley relay finished 14th at the 2019 World Championships, whilst the Men's 4x200m Freestyle relay finished 16th.
These positions must be secured further with faster times produced than those achieved in Gwangju, with the Championships in Budapest being the last opportunity for European nations to achieve this.
An Irish team in the Mixed 4x100m Medley relay has also been selected for Budapest, as has a quartet for the Women's 4x100m Medley and 4x100m Freestyle relay events.
Ireland's hopes and chances of qualifying one or more of these teams to Tokyo could not be more evenly spread across these five key events, with many other European nations feeling that a similar opportunity is also in their hands.
Swimming Team Line-Up
The Irish Team includes the four swimmers who have already achieved Olympic Consideration Times for individual events – Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene, Daniel Wiffen and Mona McSharry – as well as Irish Senior Record holders Brendan Hyland, Conor Ferguson, Danielle Hill, Ellen Walshe and Jack McMillan and Irish Junior Record holders Paddy Johnston and Eoin Corby.
Bangor’s Jordan Sloan brings key experience as a member of seven of the eight relay teams who hold Irish Senior Records in 50m competition and seven of the 10 relay teams which hold Irish Senior Records in 25m competition.
National Centre Dublin’s Niamh Coyne also holds multiple Irish relay records, as does Victoria Catterson, who will be making her European Championships debut.
Ireland’s most recent Irish Senior Record-holder Finn McGeever will also be making his debut appearance at a European Championships, as will Gerry Quinn, Naomi Trait, Erin Riordan and Max McCusker.
McGeever, who trains at National Centre (Limerick), earned his first Irish Senior Record at the Irish National Team Trials last month with a surprise 3:53.83 in the 400m Freestyle.
Ireland has 'clear intent and purpose'
Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd said: “For our swimmers, this event has an explicit relay focus as far as we are concerned, and the athletes are aware that this is the absolute priority for these Championships.
"There is nothing more honourable in our sport than representing your nation in a relay event and this team have been selected with one purpose in mind - that of Olympic relay qualification.
"The team is littered with high quality athletes, and we will be doing all we can to see at least one Irish relay team feature at an Olympic Games for the first time in 49 years.
"For our divers, it's off a plane from Tokyo and onto a plane to Budapest in the quest for much needed international competition leading into the summer, something that we have all missed so much in the last 14 months.
"Across swimming and diving, it is a large team, and it has been selected with a clear intent and purpose."
The Green Army will take on Scotland this weekend, the 15th and 16th of May, in Queen’s University Belfast. The sides last met in July 2019, with Ireland coming away from the series in Stormont with two wins and a draw.
The uncapped matches will be part of the final home match preparations for this summer’s European Championships in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Ireland will face Scotland as part of Pool A in the European Championships in June. Tournament hosts, and World Number One, the Netherlands will also play in Pool A of the Championship, with Spain completing the group.
With the EuroHockey Championships now an integral aspect of the World Cup qualification process, the 2018 silver medallists will be keen to ensure they maximise every opportunity to allow them to perform this summer in Amstelveen not only as a warmup for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games but also to secure their spot in the 2022 World Cup.
The squad for these matches is as follows:
Leinster Midfielder Uncapped
Munster Striker 111
Ulster Midfielder 196
Leinster Midfielder 141
Leinster Striker 198
Ulster Midfielder 136
Leinster Midfielder 33
Ulster Striker Uncapped
Leinster Defender 147
Leinster Defender Uncapped
Ulster Defender 306
Leinster Defender 14
Ulster Goalkeeper 100
Ulster Midfielder 193
Leinster Goalkeeper 13
Leinster Striker 207
Leinster Goalkeeper 36
Leinster Striker 26
Munster Defender 76
Leinster Midfielder 226
Speaking on the announcement, Head Coach Sean Dancer, said “These are our final matches ahead of European selection. We’re really looking forward to getting some games under pressure in the lead up to a major tournament”. These matches will not be lived streamed
Ireland’s top three pentathletes will step up preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics at this week’s penultimate qualifying competition.
The UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Cup Final takes place from May 13-16 and Natalya Coyle, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Sive Brassil are all in Hungary with different goals to pursue.
Coyle, 30, has already qualified for Tokyo and will use the competition – which mirrors the Olympic format with the fencing round robin on day one and all other parts of the women’s final on day two – as a dress rehearsal for her third consecutive Games appearance in August.
The Meath pentathlete, who finished fourth in the 2018 World Cup Final in Astana, said: “I’m really looking forward to the World Cup Final.
“The format is the same as the Olympic Games so it’s a good time to test myself.
“I’ve put in a nice block of training at home so I’m really excited to get going, especially after the disappointment of having to withdraw from the last competition.”
Like her more experienced team-mate, Brassil also earned one of 36 women’s qualification berths at the World Cup Final by performing consistently in the 2020/21 regular season, but her quest to become an Olympian this summer is far from complete.
The 27-year-old from Galway is likely to need good results at the World Cup Final and World Championships in Cairo in June to qualify for Tokyo, and there is little margin for error as she lines up against many of her rivals for the remaining Olympic places.
Brassil is familiar with this tier of competition having taken part in the last three World Cup Finals, with a best finish of 19th in Vilnius in 2017.
Two-time Olympian Lanigan-O’Keeffe also has work to do as he takes his place in the 36-strong men’s field alongside many experienced peers and new contenders from around the world.
The 29-year-old from Kilkenny will also get his competition under way tomorrow (May 13) before the other men’s disciplines (swimming, fencing bonus round, riding and Laser Run) follow on Saturday (May 15).
The Mixed Relay closes the competition on Sunday (May 16), and although Coyle and Lanigan-O’Keeffe have happy memories of their epic back-to-back victories in 2016 and 2017, no Irish athletes will be involved as Olympic preparations take priority.
For live competition coverage visit UIPM TV, the UIPM website or download the “UIPM Central” app.
THIRD Team Ireland Tokyo 2020 Team Announcement – Brendan Irvine
Boxer Confirmed as Team Ireland Member for Tokyo Olympic Games
Flyweight boxer Brendan Irvine has been officially selected to represent Team Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. The Rio Olympian from Belfast secured his Olympic berth at the European Olympic boxing qualifier in London in March 2020, shortly before the event was postponed. Irvine’s competition will take place in the Kokugikan Arena, and run from Monday 26 July until Saturday 7 August.
This is the third official Team Ireland Tokyo team announcement, and currently Team Ireland has achieved 65 quota spots across thirteen sports, with many athletes and sports at various stages on that qualification journey. Team announcements will come more frequently as we approach the summer, with the final team announcement scheduled for the beginning of July.
Twenty-four year old Irvine joins Canoe Slalom racer Liam Jegou and Jack Woolley from Taekwondo as officially selected Team Ireland members for the Games which run from the 23rd July to 8th August.
“I’m really delighted to be selected to compete in my second Olympic Games. It is always an honour to wear the Irish top, but to wear in an Olympic venue is particularly special. Tokyo will be its own unique experience. We may not have the loud cheers of Rio, but that won’t stop me. I am looking forward to getting out there and representing my country once more with pride.”
Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,
“We are delighted to welcome Brendan to the team as an officially selected Team Ireland member for Tokyo. Brendan is a tremendous worker, who brings with him a lot of experience having already competed in the Rio Olympics. He can now call himself a dual Olympian, an honour that very few athletes achieve.”
Bernard Dunne, Boxing Performance Director said,
“What Brendan has achieved in becoming a double Olympian is remarkable, especially considering the challenges and setbacks that he has had over the past two years. He has had limited chances to compete, and in his first major competition in almost two years, he qualified for the Olympic Games. This shows his drive and determination, qualities which are why we chose him as captain and leader. It is a credit to him to get where he is and is a fantastic achievement. Brendan is a great example to all our athletes, he followed the path and never lost belief. Through all his setbacks, he had good support around him and that helped too.”
TEAM IRELAND TOKYO ATHLETE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Boxing Men’s Fly 49kg:
Brendan Irvine (Belfast)
Team Ireland Officially Selected Athletes to date:
Canoe Slalom C1:
Liam Jegou (Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare)
Jack Woolley (Tallaght, Dublin)
Boxing Men’s Fly 49kg:
Brendan Irvine (Belfast)
The Rowing Ireland team for the 2021 Final Olympic Qualification has been confirmed by Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni.
Three Senior Irish crews will be looking to qualify their boats for the Tokyo Olympics in Lucerne this weekend to add to the four Irish boats already qualified from the 2019 World Rowing Championships. The competing boats are the Men’s Single, Lightweight Women’s Double and Women’s Four.
Daire Lynch will be competing in the Men’s Single in Varese. There are twenty six crews entered to compete in the Men’s Single Scull. There are two qualifying spots available in this category. Daire had a very successful 2020, winning Gold (U23 ERC) and Bronze (ERC) alongside Ronan Byrne. Daire won five Irish championships (four singles, one pair) and previously placed 8th at the Junior World Championship. Daire raced in the Men's Single at the 2021 European Rowing Championships and finish 2nd in the C Final.
The crew of Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty will be competing in the Women’s Four. The Women’s Four will be competing against seven other crews. There are two qualifying spots for the Olympics available in this category. Fiona, Eimear, Emily and Aifric won Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships last month in Varese. Last year Fiona, Eimear and Aifric won Bronze in the Women’s Four alongside Aileen Crowley at the 2020 European Championships. Fiona recently won Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan and has won the Head of Charles two years in a row. Eimear has been competing internationally since 2015 and won Silver at the 2019 U23 World Rowing Championships. Aifric has been a member of the high-performance team for several years, has won at the Irish Championships and has set new World Records on the ergometer. Emily has been competing internationally for several years after she started rowing in 2009. Emily previously won the Silver Medal at the 2019 World U23 Championships in Sarasota and a bronze medal in the Women’s Pair at the U23 2020 European Rowing Championships alongside fellow UCC athlete Tara Hanlon.
Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey will be racing in the Lightweight Women’s Double in Lucerne. There are sixteen crews entered in the Lightweight Women’s Double category. There is three qualifying spots available for the Olympics. They finished 5th in the A Final at the 2021 European Rowing Championships. Last year they won the Silver Medal in the same category at the European U23 Rowing Championships. Margaret and Aoife have competed together for several years and won Silver in this event at the Junior European Championships in 2017. They finished second in the LW2x B Final at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan.
Racing will start on Saturday with the Heats kicking off around 10am. The Quarter and Semi Finals will be on Sunday and the Finals on Monday morning. A full breakdown of times will be available after the draw on Friday afternoon.
M1x Top Two Finish to Qualify
Daire Lynch (Clonmel)
W4- Top Two Finish to Qualify
Fiona Murtagh (NUIG)
Eimear Lambe (OCBC)
Aifric Keogh (UCC)
Emily Hegarty (UCC)
LW2x Top Three Finish to Qualify
Margaret Cremen (UCC)
Aoife Casey (UCC)
Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director
Fran Keane – Rowing Ireland Coach (not travelling)
Dominic Casey – Rowing Ireland Coach
Giuseppe De Vita – Rowing Ireland Coach
Feargal O’Callaghan – Team Manager
Follow the racing:
All the races will be covered on Rowing Ireland’s Social Media Channels;
If streaming services are announced we will update all supporters through our channels throughout the week.
Arizona State University Senior and Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey today announced her intent to turn professional and will make her debut on the Symetra Tour’s Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship in Orlando in three weeks’ time.
The 23 year old will turn professional after she aims to win a second NCAA title with her Arizona State teammates. Speaking of her amateur career to date, “I am so grateful for all the amazing experiences I have been fortunate to have in my amateur career. Without the support from Golf Ireland, ASU and my family none of it would’ve been possible so I am forever grateful. My amateur career has made me proud in many ways and I am happy to have accomplished many things.“
Olivia has enjoyed an illustrious amateur career having reached 3rd in the World Amateur Golf Rankings whilst achieving multiple representative honours for Ireland as well as two Curtis Cup and Palmer Cup appearances and selection for the GB&I Vagliano Trophy team.
Olivia is no stranger to major appearances having been in contention at the most recent Augusta National Women’s Amateur which was televised globally, where she finished two shots back She has also competed in three British Opens, two US Opens and one ANA Inspiration. Speaking ahead of her professional debut, Olivia said “I now feel ready to take the next step in my career and I have been looking forward to this day since I was a young girl!“
Olivia intends to play tournaments in both the US and in Europe through sponsor invites until she heads to Q-School in August with the aim of gaining full status on the LPGA Tour.
Photo credit golffile
Tokyo 2021 qualifier Oliver Dingley has completed a memorable week for Ireland at the FINA Diving World Cup in Japan with a score of 351.35 in the 3m Springboard Semi-Final.
Dingley, who finished eighth in the 3m Springboard at Rio 2016, earned qualification for his second Olympic Games on Wednesday when finishing 15th in the preliminary round of his competition.
His efforts on Thursday were Team Ireland’s final dives in Tokyo for this week, with attentions now turning to the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
All four divers – Dingley, Clare Cryan, Ciara McGing and Tanya Watson – who competed at the FINA Diving World Cup will travel on Friday to Hungary, where competition begins on Monday, May 10.
Reflecting on the week in Tokyo, Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd said: “"This has been a very successful week for Irish Diving and we are all very proud of what our athletes have achieved.
“We must give a huge deal of credit to the coaches and the practitioners for preparing these athletes to perform so well in what have been extremely challenging circumstances.
“Tanya and Oliver will clearly be delighted with the knowledge that their invitation to Tokyo is secure, whilst Ciara and Clare must now wait for a period of up to two weeks to discover whether either of them will be added to those invites.
“To have our largest ever diving team for an Olympic Games and our first ever female Olympic diver as an outcome of this competition is superb and we can all look forwards to a European Championships in a few days' time and enjoy watching this quartet compete once more."
Damian Ball, National Head Coach for Diving, added: “It’s been a very challenging and emotional two weeks here in Japan. Words can’t describe how proud I am of this team. A big thank you to everyone who has made this story possible.
"Budapest and the European Championships awaits us next and the team can head into this full of confidence."
Team Ireland diver Tanya Watson has made history this morning by becoming Ireland’s first female diver to qualify for the Olympic Games.
The 19-year-old scored 271.85 in the preliminary round of the 10m Platform at the FINA Diving World Cup in Tokyo, seeing her finish in 16th position and advance to the semi-finals.
Watson needed to finish in the Top 18 to gain qualification for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, and having posted her second-best score in a FINA competition this morning, she could yet improve her overall finishing position in Wednesday’s semi-finals, which begin at 8am Irish time.
Watson has had a tumultuous 12 months trying to find a pool to train in, with her regular pool unavailable during UK lockdown periods.
Primarily based at the Southampton Diving Academy in England under the expert eye of Lindsey Fraser, Watson has spent much of her time in this period training at National Centre (Dublin) under Ireland’s National Head Coach for Diving, Damian Ball, and alongside Oliver Dingley and Clare Cryan.
Reflecting on an unforgettable moment, Watson said: “It has been a really emotional time for me and I just got it together at the right time.
“After this last year, from everything being postponed, and living away from home for so long, I am very grateful that I was able to qualify Ireland a spot for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“It wasn’t perfect, I need to work on dive two [of five], but I am excited for the semi-finals and for what’s to come this summer.”
Watson added: “I cannot thank enough everyone who helped me get here.”
Ohio-based Ciara McGing was also competing for Ireland in the 10m Platform and finished 23rd with a score of 240.95.
Damian Ball, Ireland’s National Head Coach for Diving, added: “What a brilliant day for Irish diving, the girls were amazing this morning. To show that much composure, in such a high-pressure moment, at a young age, is truly incredible.
“We got off to a flying start with both girls nearing the top of the table after round one, both girls dropped critical points in round two, but kept their cool with strong dives in round three and four. Their final dives needed to be good, the pressure was on, and they both delivered great last dives.
“What a moment, I’m really proud of Tanya and Ciara.”
McGing, who now trains at Ohio State University in the US after spending all of her formative years with National Centre (Dublin), had set a new Irish Women’s 10m Platform record of 307 points in February at the Big Ten College meet at Purdue University in Indiana.
This morning’s finishing position means McGing will have an anxious two weeks while she waits for FINA to determine whether that position will also qualify her for the Games alongside Watson.
The 20-year-old will now refocus on a big performance at the LEN European Championships in Budapest next week.
Joining Tanya Watson on Ireland’s schedule on Wednesday will be Rio 2016 Olympian Oliver Dingley, the last of the team to dive. Dingley was Ireland’s first Olympic diver in 68 years at Rio, where he finished as a finalist, and he will begin his bid for a return to that level at 2am on Wednesday morning in the Men’s 3m Springboard.
Team Ireland diver Clare Cryan has finished 31st in the 3M Springboard at the FINA Diving World Cup in Japan.
The Irish Senior Record Holder was on Monday the first of Ireland’s four divers to take to the boards at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, each aiming for Tokyo 2020 qualification.
Cryan achieved the fourth highest score she has ever posted in a FINA 3M Springboard competition with a total points tally of 242.90. The achievement earned her 31st position, but it was not enough on this occasion to advance to the semi-finals.
Damian Ball, Ireland’s National Head Coach for Diving, said: “Clare gave it everything today and can be proud of her efforts. A dropped second round dive made all the difference of progressing to the semi-finals.
“Although Clare showed a spirited and determined fight back, it was just not quite enough on this occasion.”
Ball added: “Clare is a terrific diver and I’m looking forward to seeing her bounce back to a top performance next week at the European Championships.”
Cryan will leave Tokyo with the team later this week, heading to Budapest to compete at those European Championships, which begin on May 10.
Meanwhile in Tokyo, on Tuesday morning it is the turn of Ciara McGing and Tanya Watson to dive for Olympic qualification on the 10M Platform.
McGing, now training with Ohio State University, set a new Irish Women’s 10M Platform record in February at the Big Ten College meet at Purdue University in Indiana.
The 19-year-old achieved a score of 307, bettering the 298.90 record set by Watson at the British Championships just over a year earlier.
McGing and Watson will now compete against each other, aiming for a top 18 finish and a place in the semi-finals, which would secure Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020.
If either diver does make the top 18 in the 10M Platform, they could become the first Irish female diver to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Oliver Dingley, who was in 2016 the first Irish diver in 68 years to qualify for an Olympic Games, will be the last of Ireland’s divers to bid for Tokyo 2020 qualification.
His 3M Springboard preliminaries take place in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Having finished 8th in the event at Rio 2016 – Ireland’s first Olympic finalist in diving – the 28-year-old will be hoping he can once again secure that crucial top 18 finish.
It was a night to remember at the World Athletics Relays in Silesia21, Poland this evening. The mixed 4 x 400m team of Chris O'Donnell, Phil Healy, Sharlene Mawdsley, and Thomas Barr produced a stunning performance to finish 3rd in 3.16.84 NR which not only secured a place in tomorrow’s final, but also claimed Olympic and 2022 World Championships qualification. All four athletes put in stunning performances which saw the Irish team challenging for the leading positions from the gun.
The team will be back on track for the final tomorrow at 6.20pm (Irish time).
The Irish Women’s 4 x 100m team of Sarah Lavin, Sarah Quinn, Kate Doherty, and Molly Scott also impressed and secured 10th place overall. The team finished 4th in heat 2, with the time of 44.53 just short of seeing them progress to tomorrow’s final. The performance did however secure a place at next year's World Championships in Oregon.
The 44.53 time was just 0.3 off Olympic qualification, but the team can still secure one of the few remaining Olympic spots by time over the coming months.
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