Tonight, all Irish interest at the Tokyo Olympic Games took place in the pool, with Team Ireland swimmers impressing across the three events on offer this evening. Meanwhile sailors Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove reacted to their winning start to the 49er class Race 1.
Sailors Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove reacted to leading going into Race 2 on their Olympic debut in the 49er class race, when they edged out Great Britain and Germany. After the race the pair were relieved to start their campaign strongly, emphasising the changing nature of the sport. “I feel thrilled,” said Waddilove after the race, “We can’t ask for a abetter start, but you have to remember that this is the very first race, and anything could change with eleven races to go, plus a medal race, hopefully!” Dickson added, “It was pretty close, but you only have to win by a few centimetres. We didn’t know crossing the line that we’d done it until we came in and Matt (McGovern, coach) told us.”
It was a busy evening for Team Ireland swimmers with Ireland in competition across the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, Men’s 800m Freestyle and the Men’s 4 X 200m Freestyle Relay.
Longford’s Darragh Greene opened proceedings posting a time of 2.11.09 in Heat 5 of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke, finishing 7th in his heat, and 23rd overall. Speaking after the race, Greene was pleased with his performance, “It was good, just off my best which was a bit unfortunate, but at the same time it was a good swim. I’m going to look back and see what I can improve on.” The Longford swimmer started strong, lying fifth at the first turn, keeping his focus on his own performance.
For the first time in history Team Ireland fielded a Men’s 4 X 200m Relay, with Jack McMillan, Finn McGeever, Brendan Hyland and Rio Olympian Shane Ryan finishing 8th in their heat with a time of 7.15.48, resulting in a 14th place overall finish; the top eight progressed to the final. McMillan showed his class in his Olympic debut, clocking a time of 1:46.66 in the opening leg of the relay, putting them in fourth place at that early stage, the first time that he swam under 1:47, and swimming an Irish Senior Record.
“It’s my dream since I was a little kid, to be finally here is class,” McMillan said after his race. “The experience out there was unbelievable, once in a lifetime! It’s great to just be here and race with the lads for the relay, and we wouldn’t be here without Jordan (Sloan) and Gerry (Quinn), so a shout out to them. Hopefully we did them proud. Everyone stepped up, couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Daniel Wiffen finished off the Irish line up in today’s swimming action in incredible fashion by winning his heat in the 800m Freestyle. Wiffen stormed up the final length to secure a time of 7:51.65, beating his personal best, season best & Irish Senior Record of 7:52.68. Wiffen missed out on a top 8 qualifying spot but improved on his 24th place ranking coming into the event and finished in 14th place.
Speaking after the heat, a beaming Daniel said, “I am ecstatic! I got a Personal Best on the big stage. I came out top of the race. It is the Olympics, and I am happy to be here. I rebroke my old Irish Senior Record which is incredible. I have dropped about 20 seconds this year on it which is a lot. I felt it was like a 1v1 race at the end and I thought I have got to win this. I have got to show the nation what I am capable of. I have huge support coming from home, my parents, family and extended family. It is my mum’s birthday today so happy birthday, mum!”
Tomorrow is one of the busiest days for Team Ireland, with ten sports being represented throughout the day, with medal opportunities in a number of sports, including rowing and judo.
EVENING RESULTS DAY FOUR: JULY 27TH, 2021
Laser Radial, Race 6: Annalise Murphy, 10th (moves to 20th overall)
49er Class Race 1: Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, 1st
Men’s 200m Breaststroke Heats – Darragh Greene finished 23rd with 2.11.09
Men’s 4 X 200m Freestyle Heats – Jack McMillan, Brendan Hyland, Finn McGeever, Shane Ryan finished 14th with a time of 7.15.48
Men’s 800m Freestyle Heats – Daniel Wiffen finished 14th with 7:51.65 (PB).
DAY FIVE SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ARE IRISH TIME): July 28th, 2021
00:20 – Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne - Men’s Double Sculls Final B
01:30 Rugby Sevens – Ireland v Kenya – Men’s Placing 9-10
01:50 Rowing – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh, Emily Hegarty – Women’s Four Final A
01:50 Shooting – Derek Burnett – Trap Men’s Qualification Day 1
From 03:00 Judo – Michaela Polleres (AUT) v Megan Fletcher (IRL) - Women’s -70kg Elimination Round of 32
03:30 Rowing – Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy - Lightweight Men’s Double Semi-Final A/B
03:40 Rowing – Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen - Lightweight Women’s Double Semi-Final A/B
04:05 Sailing – Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove – 49er class Races
04:15 Hockey – Germany v Ireland – Women’s Pool A, Game 3
04:20 Rowing – Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley, Women’s Pair, Semi-Final A/B
04:36 Boxing – Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (UZB) v Kurt Walker (IRL), Men’s Feather Round of 16
06:00 Cycling – Nicolas Roche – Men’s Individual Time Trial
10:18 Boxing – Aoife O’Rourke (IRL) v Qian Li (CHN), Women’s Middle Round of 16
10:40 Badminton – Tzu-Wei Wang (TPE) v Nhat Nguyen (IRL) – Men’s Singles Group Play
11:36 Swimming – Mona McSharry - Women’s 200m Breaststroke, Heat