This week the Olympic Relay kicked off in Japan, and the moment was celebrated by partners to the Irish Olympic Team, Circle K through their Keep it Lit initiative, below. , it is refreshing to see so many of our athletes currently in action, and competing well. Today, Friday, everything is on the line for the Irish 49ers crews, with one Olympic berth up for grabs in the Olympic qualifier in Lanzarote. Four nations are competing for that spot, and currently Ireland is currently leading the charge going into the final day, with Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove earning a place in the medal race final this afternoon.. Following a week of trials, Rowing Ireland announced their team who will be competing at the European Championship from the 9-11 April.
Please note that I will be on annual leave between the 29 March and the 7 April, so we will be taking a break from the weekly updates next week.
As a reminder, the current status of Team Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics is 54 guaranteed athletes travelling to the Games, with many more sitting within qualification. The full details of the team can be found AT THIS LINK.
OLYMPIC FEDERATION OF IRELAND UPDATES
To mark the beginning of the journey for the Olympic Torch to the stadium in Tokyo, Circle K launched their ‘Keep It Lit’ initiative today. This is a continuation of their Here for Ireland campaign which benefits athletes in that they receive tokens towards their fuel and food in Circle K stations, which is generated by the community who purchase in the stations and use the Play Or Park initiative. To date the generated digital coins have resulted in approximately €750,000 being shared evenly across Team Ireland athletes.
Last weekend it was announced that international spectators will not attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Following the announcement, the official ticket reseller for the OFI, Elamys Group, contacted anyone who had purchased tickets to inform them that they will be receiving a refund. This information was shared with our athletes and member federations additionally.
As we mentioned earlier this year, the OFI is in the final stages of selling and moving out of the Olympic House. With most of our athletes and member federations being based out of Abbotstown it makes sense to be close to them.
Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds are into the quarterfinals of Orleans Open BWF Super Tour 100 event in France. The pair beat Julien Carraggi and Jona Van Nieuwkerke of Belgium in the round of 32 21-14 21-17. The Irish followed this up with a win over Phillip Klindt and Mads Thogersen of Denmark 21-19 21-14.
In the quarterfinals they face England’s Sean Vendy and Ben Lane. HERE IS A FULL LIST OF IRISH RESULTS
The Irish go into a training block after this event before the European Championships which starts on April 27th in Kyiv Ukraine.
In case you missed it last year, check out our nostalgic video created by the Olympic Channel, which includes some previously unseen old footage. We also included an interview with 1980 Olympic bronze medallist from Belfast, Hugh Russell.
Last weekend, Jake Cochrane won a bronze medal in the C1 Men Final at the first race of the 2021 Pyrenees Cup, an ICF ranking series held in northern Spain and southern France. Cochrane showed great pace all weekend, starting with 3rd in the qualification round, and carrying the momentum to his medal winning performance with a clean run of 93.70 seconds in the final. Also in action was 2012 Olympian Hannah Craig, who showed the strength of the Irish Team this year, making the finals of the K1 Women, finishing 9th.
Both will race again this weekend in the next round of the Pyrenees Cup, in Pau, France. Joining them on the start line will be Tokyo Olympian Liam Jegou, who last year won a World Cup gold on the same course, and can be expected to deliver another strong performance.
It was another strong weekend for the Irish showjumpers with major victories for both Nicky Galligan and Darragh Kenny. Galligan, riding The Irish Sport Horse Javas Miss Jordan, claimed a four-star Grand Prix win in California, while Kenny scooped the top prize in the three-star Grand Prix in the three-star Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida.
See below some upcoming events from golf. This week:
Amateur Olivia Mehaffey finished tied for 6th at the LPGA Symetra Tour Carlisle Classic last weekend with rounds of 69, 64, 71 and 73.
The Irish team of Natalya Coyle, Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe and Sive Brassil are currently competing at the UIPM 2020 Pentathlon World Cup Cairo. Both Coyle and Brassil moved through to the finals in the women’s event, while double Olympian Lanigan-O’Keeffe fell short of qualifying for the men’s final yesterday. The women’s final take place today, and the Mixed Relay takes place on Sunday March 28.
Currently Team Ireland has qualified one spot in Tokyo, in the women’s event, thanks to the performance of Coyle at the European Championships in 2019. The rest of the spots will be determined through ranking.
Eight boats were selected by Rowing Ireland to compete in the European Championships which take place in Varese, Italy, from the 9-11 April. The main talking point was the selection of current World Champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy to compete in the men’s Lightweight Double Sculls. Olympic silver medallist Gary O’Donovan will race the Lightweight Single Sculls. Sanita Puspure will not be competing in these European Championships.
This weektwo Irish crews are competing in the 49ers Olympic Qualifying Regatta in Lanzarote. Currently Robert Dickson (Howth Yacht Club) and Sean Waddilove (Skerries Sailing Club) are sitting in poll position to take the one Olympic spot on offer, and which is being contested by four nations. Olympian Ryan Seaton (Ballyholme Yacht Club) and Séafra Guilfoyle (Royal Cork Yacht Club) have been in top form also, and have another chance of making the medal race, which takes place this afternoon.
World Triathlon has moved its qualification window from 1 May to 21 June. This will mean an intense period of competition for the Irish athletes targeting Tokyo. At the moment Russell White and Carolyn Hayes are sitting within the ranking for the Games.