It was a tough evening all around for Team Ireland athletes in Tokyo this afternoon and evening.
In Modern Pentathlon, a stroke of bad luck on her horse draw, cost three-time Olympian Natalya Coyle on the main day of competition in Modern Pentathlon. Coyle finished out in 24th place overall at the end of the five events, with a score of 1268 - considerably lower than what she was tracking towards following a strong opener.
In track cycling, Ireland suffered a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the Women’s Madison this afternoon after a crash saw them lose two laps during a chaotic track race while, later on in the day, the Irish Show Jumping Team withdrew from the Show Jumping Team Qualifier following the early exit of Shane Sweetnam and Alejandro.
CYCLING – TRACK
Ireland suffered a DNF in the Women’s Madison this afternoon after a tough crash saw them lose two laps during a chaotic track race. Shannon McCurley and Emily Kay had teamed up with hopes of a top 10 finish in this track event, however a frenetic pace and heavy fall combined to derail their plans.
Two-time Olympian, Shannon McCurley, crashed hard after touching Italy’s wheel during a hand sling in the early stages of the 30-kilometre race. McCurley was quick to remount her bike but, with a strong pace being maintained at the front of the race, Ireland lost a lap resulting in a 20-point deduction.
Speaking after the race, Emily Kay - who made her debut at the Games today and will race again in the Women’s Omnium this Sunday from 2am (Irish time) - said; “Today was really, really tough, and obviously we suffered a heavy crash early on which kind of pushed us into the red and made the race really difficult for us. It’s really disappointing because it’s definitely not what we’ve worked for, or what we’re capable of, and we didn’t really get the chance to show that today.
“We fought to the end and gave it everything we could with the cards we were dealt, so you know, I’m just trying to take the positives from it. I get another chance to race again on Sunday and give that my best and try and put down a result and obviously, I’m proud to now be an Irish Olympian. A disappointing day, but we will refocus and go again.”
The Irish Show Jumping Team withdrew from the Show Jumping Team Qualifier this evening following the early exit of Shane Sweetnam and Alejandro.
Alejandro started the competition well, but coming to the triple combination at fence 5, he unfortunately pulled a shoe and lost composure. As the team competition is made up of three riders on a team, all scores count with no drop score available.
The pair continued after this complication to try and remain in the competition for the team but knocked a few fences between 5 and 9. Luck ran out though as they fell at fence 9. Alejandro got up immediately and trotted away, sustaining very minor injuries from the fall and is now in good health. Sweetnam walked away unscathed apart from the disappointment from their performance.
Speaking to Sweetnam after the event, he shared what happened during his round and his decision to continue because of the competition format: “He started off well, Alejandro. He was jumping great and, coming into the triple combination, he pulled a shoe and just really got nervous and unsettled and never really came back from it. He is a very experienced horse and normally that wouldn’t happen to him - it has never happened to him before - and the way the format is, I had to keep going or try to count and hopefully work our way through it and that didn’t happen.”
The fall resulted in an elimination and meant that from the very first round, Ireland was out of contention for qualifying for the Team Final, as just the top 10 teams of the 19 competing advanced.
At the end of play on Day 3 of the Women’s Individual Stroke Play, Stephanie Meadow is tied for 10th place and 3 shots outside the bronze medal position, which four players are currently tied for. Leona Maguire, on 5-under par, is in a tie for 18th and a good score tomorrow would see her improve upon her 21st place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she competed as an amateur.
Nelly Korda (USA) has dominated the event so far and takes a 3-shot advantage into tomorrow’s final round which will begin from 10.30pm (Irish time – Friday evening, August 6th) due to inclement weather forecast in the later part of Saturday.
A stroke of bad luck on her horse draw cost three-time Olympian Natalya Coyle on the main day of competition in Modern Pentathlon. Coyle finished out in 24th place overall at the end of the five events, with a score of 1268 - considerably lower than what she was tracking towards following a strong opener.
The Meath athlete started the day as joint third in ranking, and a strong swim in a time of 2:13.88 saw her hold her position going into the Women’s Fencing Bonus Round, which has an excited format whereby the lowest ranked fencer from the ranking round competes against the second lowest ranking, with the athletes competing to increase rankings, and improve their overall points. Another strong performance here saw her moving into the horse-riding section lying fourth overall, and two seconds off third.
Disaster struck for Coyle in the horse-riding round however, when she was faced with a jumping round with Constantin, a horse that subsequently refused to jump, resulting in a penalty of 64 seconds for Coyle, pushing her into 19th place overall ahead of the final Laser Run. Having come to the Games in the form of her life, Coyle completed the Laser Run and finished an eventual 24th place overall, and was very disappointed with the outcome.
“It’s really disappointing,” she said afterwards. “It’s just the added disappointment because to be third in the fence, and to be so close and to kind of feel like it was snatched away from you is really disappointing, but that’s pentathlon, unfortunately.”
In the horse-riding section, athletes jump on unfamiliar horses, which they are allocated by a draw. Riding is a discipline that Coyle is particularly strong on and having seen another rider on the horse earlier, she knew it would be tough:
“I knew that was going to be tough, but I thought I had made a good plan and I worked a lot in the arena, but he just didn’t want to go near it. It’s just disappointing – I have had two good Games, and two good horse riding, I’ve put so much effort into doing it and would have liked to have had a really nice finish, but that’s not sport I suppose. It’s a bit tough.”
EVENING RESULTS DAY 14: AUGUST 6TH, 2021
CYCLING - TRACK
Women’s Madison - Emily Kay and Shannon McCurley – DNF (13th)
Equestrian: Show Jumping Team Qualifier - Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro (ISH) 1, Darragh Kenny and VDL Cartello, Shane Sweetnam and Alejandro, 19th
1 Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory.
GOLF (confirmed standings)
Women’s Individual Stroke Play, Round 3 – Leona Maguire, , 71, 67, 70, - T18 after Round 3
Women’s Individual Stroke Play, Round 3 – Stephanie Meadow, 72, 66, 68 - T10 after Round 3
Women’s Individual Overall - Natalya Coyle, 24th with 1268 points
DAY 15 SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES ARE IRISH TIME): August 7th, 2021
Schedule may be subject to change
22:00** Athletics – Aoife Cooke – Women’s Marathon
22:00** Athletics – Fionnuala McCormack – Women’s Marathon
23:18** Golf - Leona Maguire – Women’s Individual Stroke Play Round 4
23:42** Golf – Stephanie Meadow – Women’s Individual Stroke Play Round 4
08:55 Cycling Track – Mark Downey and Felix English - Men’s Madison
**NOTE – This event takes place on the evening of August 6th in Irish time