Team Ireland Triathletes Confirmed for Tokyo 2020

Two Athletes Set to Compete in Triathlon at the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Team Ireland has officially selected a team of two triathletes for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Carolyn Hayes has been selected to compete in the Individual Women’s event, and Russell White in the Individual Men’s event. The competition in Tokyo will run from the 26-27 July 2021 in Odaiba Marine Park, close to the famed Rainbow Bridge.

The Women’s Individual event takes place at 6:30 in the morning of the 27th July 2021, with Hayes competing on the back of a strong run of form in recent weeks. In May she won a silver medal in the Triathlon World Cup in Lisbon, indicating strong showing ahead of the Games. White will be competing in the Men’s Individual event on the 26th July 2021. The early starting time has been implemented as part of one of the heat countermeasures that is being taken in Japan this summer. White secured his spot in Tokyo following an intense period of competition that saw him compete in five competitions across five weeks in three continents.

Speaking about her selection Hayes (Limerick) said,

“It is incredible to be announced as a Team Ireland member for Tokyo. The whole journey has been a rollercoaster, emotionally and physically. Especially in a sport with three different disciplines that you have to master. When I started I never thought that I would get to this level, but I just wanted to see how far I could go. Then things started to progress, I started to believe in myself more, and now I’m really excited to see what I can do in Tokyo.”

Teammate from Banbridge, White, said,

“I have always been a massive fan of the Olympics, it’s always been the pinnacle of the sports that I have played, and it was always a dream of mine to get there. It was an intense few weeks of competing, after my last race I was disappointed when I crossed the line, but by the time I got off the plane in Heathrow the next day a message had come in to say I was in. I was absolutely buzzing.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,

“I'm really pleased to welcome both Carolyn and Russell to the team in triathlon. Especially on the back of what has been an intense six weeks competition schedule spanned across three continents. Their qualification is a testament to the endurance, determination and strength, and both Carolyn and Russell are very positive additions to the team."   

Team Ireland Triathlon Performance Director, Stephen Delaney said,

“We are really delighted to see these two athletes progress to an Olympic Games. We’ve been working with Russell for more than 11 years now and with Carolyn we started a project back in 2014 under my predecessor Tommy Evans to identify athletes with potential for the Tokyo Games. Carolyn was one of these athletes so to have her come through is really exciting. We are looking forward to seeing what they can deliver for Team Ireland in the Olympic Games.” 

TEAM IRELAND TRIATHLON TEAM:

Carolyn Hayes - Women’s Individual Triathlon

Russell White – Men’s Individual Triathlon

Team Ireland now consists of 47 officially selected athletes, with 100 athletes spots confirmed across nineteen sports SEE HERE. The final team announcement is scheduled for the beginning of July. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

Russell White
Growing up in Banbridge in Northern Ireland, Russell White dreamed of going to the Olympics but as a swimmer, not a triathlete.
Swimming was Russell’s first sport and he began taking it seriously at the age of 10. He went on to win national championship medals with Lisburn City Swimming Club, who are still one of his most ardent supporters. White also played hockey for Ulster at underage level.
After being spotted at one of Triathlon Ireland’s Talent ID days in 2009, Russell White competed in his first elite race at the European Championships in Athlone the following year.
The Olympic Games will be Russell’s 100th elite triathlon start.


Carolyn Hayes
Carolyn Hayes holds more Triathlon Ireland national titles than any other athlete still in the sport. But while she dominated the domestic amateur scene for many years, she was a relative latecomer to elite competition when she made her international debut at the age of 26. Hayes, who comes from Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick juggled the demands of her medical studies at UL and later working as a junior doctor with her triathlon training. It wasn’t until early 2020 that she was able to pause her medical career to concentrate on triathlon full time. Before triathlon, which she discovered at UL, Hayes played hockey and represented Ireland in water polo. She also completed both the Dublin and New York marathons.

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