FINAL RESULTS

Athletics (11 top tens)

BRONZE Boy’s 1500m – Sean Cronin

Final 3rd with 4:02.81

4th Girl’s 800m Heats – Nicole Dinan

Heats 2:12.27 (PB), Finals – 4th with 2:12.92

4th Girl’s 3000m Final – Clodagh Gill

Final 9:47.25 (PB)

4th Boy’s 3000m Final – Cormac Dixon

Finals 8:28.62

5th Boy’s 200m – Toby Thompson

Heats – 22.26 Q for Finals,

5th Boy’s Discus Final – Cian Crampton

Finals 54.76 PB

6th Boy’s Medley Relay Jesse Osas, Toby Thompson, Cormac Crotty, Jason O’Reilly

Q for Final with 1:58.52, Final 1:57.79

6th Boy’s 100m – Jesse Osas

Heats 10.91 (PB) Finals 10.86 (PB)

8th Girl’s 400m – Hollie Kilroe

Heats 56.81 Q for Final, Finals – 57.54

9th Girl’s Medley Relay Okwu Backari, Hannah Falvey, Amy-Jo Kierans, Hollie Kilroe

Heats 2:16.44

10th Girl’s 1500m – Lucy Foster

Heats Q for F – 4:36.17, Final

11th Girl’s Long Jump – Okwu Backari

Heats 5.41, 11th with 5.39

DNF Boy’s 800m – Senan O’Reilly

Heats – qualified for final with 1:58.13

Girl’s 200m – Hannah Falvey

Heats – Q for SF – 25.71, Semis 26.11

Girl’s 100m Hurdles – Okwu Backari

Heats 14.11 PB

Girl’s High Jump – Maeve Fleming

1.65m – doesn’t qualify

Badminton

Dylan Noble and Michelle Shochan of Team Ireland competing in the mixed doubles Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Romeo Makboul (SWE) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Men’s Singles R1 (21-7, 21-10)

Santiago Batalha (POR) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Boy’s Singles R2 (21-17, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-1 Varsha Kumar (GB) – Girl’s Singles R1 (22-20, 22-24, 21-15)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 1-2 Jelena Buchberger (CRO) Girl’s Singles R2 (18-21, 21-18, 21-12)

Dylan Noble (IRL) WALKOVER Andrei Schmidt (EST) Boy’s Singles R2

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-0 Anja Rumpold (AUT) Girl’s Singles R3 (21-13, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-0 Marie Stern (GER) Girl’s Singles R4 (23-21, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 1-2 Sofia Stromvall (SWE) Girl’s Singles – Rof 16 (21-18, 19-21, 13-21)

Ireland (Shochan & Noble) 2-0 Armenia (Harutyunyan & Smbatyan) 21-18, 21-19.

Ireland (Shochan & Noble) 2-0 Norway (Aleksandrs Jakovlevs & Katja Ellingsen) 22-24, 18-21

Cycling (4 top tens)

Seth Dunwoody of Team Ireland competing in the boys time trial event. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Boy’s Time Trial (8.4km)

Seth Dunwoody – 5th – 11:06.81

Patrick Casey – 10th – 11:12.55

Sam Coleman – 43rd – 11:39.20

Girl’s Time Trial (8.4km)

Aine Doherty – 10th – 12:40.7

Mya Doocey – 31st – 13:09.11

Ailyah Rafferty – 60th – 13:36.36

Girl’s Road Race:

25th – Aine Doherty (Ireland)

41st – Aliyah Rafferty (Ireland)

69th – Mya Doocey (Ireland)

Boy’s Road Race:

10th – Sam Coleman (IRL)

27th – Seth Dunwoody (IRL)

33rd – Patrick Casey (IRL)

Gymnastics

Maeve McGuinness of Team Ireland comepting in the girls artistic gymnastics event. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

68th Men’s Artistic Gymnastics – Niall Hooten with 68.650

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

40th Women’s Artistic Gymnastics – Lily Russell with 45.1  

50th Women’s Artistic Gymnastics – Sophie McGuinness with 43.850  

72nd Women’s Artistic Gymnastics – Lily Russell with 40.50  

Judo

Bethany McAuley of Team Ireland competing in her 57kg round two match. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Bethany McCauley (IRL) V Emma Melis (FRA) – Girl’s Minus 57kg – Loss (0-1)

Swimming

Conor Fitzgerald of Team Ireland competing in the boys 100m event. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

16th Girl’s 100m Freestyle Grace Davison (IRL)

Heats –58.82, Q for Semis, Semis 58.82

Girls 400m Medley Grace Davison (IRL)

Heats – 11th with 5.08.23, did not qualify for finals.

19th Boy’s 100m Freestyle Conor Fitzgerald (IRL)

Heats Q for SF with 52.86, SF –  53.00

Girl’s 200m Breaststroke Grace Davison (IRL)

Heats – Q for SF with 2:42.23, SF  2:39.15

30th Boy’s 50m Freestyle Conor Fitzgerald

Heats 24.69

21st Boy’s 100m Butterfly Conor Fitzgerald

Heats 58.23

Tennis

24 July 2022; Rachel Deegan and Eoghan Jennings of Team Ireland. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Joao Dinis Silva (POR) 2-1 Eoghan Jennings (IRL) – Boy’s Round One (6-2, 4-6, 6-3)

Renata Jamrichova (SVK) 2-0 Rachel Deegan (IRL) – Girl’s Round One (6-1, 6-1)

Ireland (Jennings & Deegan) 2-0 Kosovo (Hajrizi & Rama) – Mixed Doubles Round 1 (61, 6-2)

Ireland (Eoghan Jennings & Rachel Deegan) 0-2 Romania – Mixed Doubles Loss (0-6, 3-6)

FOURTH FOR CLODAGH GILL IN THE 3000M FINAL AT EYOF

Sprinter Jesse Osas Named as Flagbearer for Team Ireland at the Closing Ceremony

The final day of competition at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Banska Bystrica saw further personal best performances, bringing to fifteen the number of top ten performances by Team Ireland at the Games. The highlight performance from the Games was the bronze medal won by Sean Cronin in the 1500m last Tuesday.

Today, Ballina’s Clodagh Gill had a sensational run in today’s 3000m Final, pulling out a personal best time of 9:47.25, 3 seconds faster than her previous best. The Moyvalley AC runner shook off some pre-race nerves to execute a mature race, just one place outside the medals,

“It went great, I was nervous enough going into it. At the tent, I wasn’t feeling too good about it, But I went out on the track and I saw my coach (Philip Finnerty), and he gave me a little wink.”

The fifteen-year-old was one of the youngest racers in the field, “at the start of the race it was fast enough. I stuck behind the group. I knew the Italian and Czech girls were good, so I kept up the pace throughout, I said I’d try my best to stick with them. I saw the Spanish girl slowly coming back to me, and I wondered if I could catch her, but maybe next year.”

In last night’s Boy’s 200m Final, Toby Thompson finished fifth with a time of 22.19, which was 0.01 seconds off his personal best. The Belfast sprinter had already competed in the qualifying heats of the Medley Relay that morning, before producing a fast time in the evening race. Speaking after the race the Ballymena & Antrim Athletics Club runner said,

“Qualified in fifth, and ended up coming fifth, so I can’t really complain. Although, I really do think that I could have run better, but it is what it is and I did make it to the finals. My legs were probably a bit dead from this morning, but I’ll take a hundredth of a second off my PB, especially this late at night.”

Thompson was in action again this morning as part of the Boy’s Medley Relay team, who clocked a PB with a time of 1:57.79, netting a sixth place finish in the finals.

“I feel like me and the boy’s did the best we could, Jesse had a great first leg, I held my own. Cormac and Jason held their own as well, I feel like they ran a faster leg, and that’s why we got a PB, but it just so happened that the other boys were quicker than us, so I’m happy with that.”

100m sprinter and athletics team captain Jesse Osas, who was named as flagbearer for the closing ceremony summed up the race saying,

“Coming to Slovakia has been a great experience, I feel like if we come here again we will do a way better, it just wasn’t our day.”

In the Girl’s 1500m Lucy Foster clocked a time 2 seconds faster than her heat time, to finish tenth overall with 4:34.39.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the EYOF in Banska Bystrica, Gavin Noble, summed up a successful Games for the Irish team saying,

I would say it was an overall successful Games. A lot of athletes came here with this being the first time they actually represented Ireland, outside of Ireland. So it was a huge experience for them. I've been super impressed by so many personal bests and especially within the athletics group.  But at the end of the day where they come in their overall ranking is not necessarily the concern, it's more how they've approached the games, how they've learned.

“Overall it's been a privilege for us in the OFI to support and so many talented Irish athletes and coaches. We have spoken about that quite a lot before, from club to country, so thanks to all of those club coaches who are doing amazing work around Ireland.

“Thank you to all the coaches, support staff and team leaders out here, supporting the athletes. It is the first time that we have had an all female group of team leaders, they were all exceptional. We are looking forward to reviewing the process, and preparing for the next edition.”

This brings to an end competition at the EYOF in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. The next summer EYOF will take place in Maribor, Slovenia from 23-29 July 2023.

RESULTS – SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022

Athletics

Girl’s 3000m Final – Clodagh Gill – 4th with 9:47.25 (PB)

Boy’s 200m Final – Toby Thompson – 5th overall with 0:22.19 (Friday night)

Boy’s Medley Relay

Jesse Osas, Toby Thompson, Cormac Crotty, Jason O’Reilly – 6th with 1:57.79

Girl’s 1500m Final –Lucy Foster – 10th with 4:34.39

A busy morning for Team Ireland at the Sport Park Athletics stadium in Banska Bystrica saw the cream of Ireland’s young athletes stamp their mark at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Slovakia. Throughout the competition athletes were fielded across seven sports, with all eyes on the athletics field for the remaining days of the event which runs from the 25-30 July 2022.

The performance of the morning was from Cormac Dixon in the Boy’s 3000m Final, where he was pipped on the line for a medal, finishing fourth with 8:28.62. The Tallaght AC runner knocked 12 seconds off his previous best, digging deep to just miss out on bronze to Italy’s Vitorre Simone Borromini by 0.07 seconds. Dixon led the race coming into the final 200m, before Sweden’s Karl Ottfalk passed to take gold. Romania’s Lucian Stefan took silver, with Dixon, Stefan and Ottfalk all scoring PBs in the battle to the line.

Interview with Jacqui Freyne

Speaking after the race, team leader for the athletics team Jacqui Freyne said,

“A 12 second PB over 3000m is absolutely huge. Cormac ran a really great race,  he put himself in the mix and he went after the breaks. His coach Cecil Johnson will be incredibly proud of him. We are all heartbroken for him to be losing out on a medal by 0.07, when you run such a huge PB, it’s really tough.” Listen in full by clicking HERE

Interview with Cormac Dixon

Edenderry’s Cian Crampton also performed outstandingly, throwing a PB of 54.76 to finish fifth in the Boy’s Discus Final. The fifteen-year-old is still young enough to compete in this category at the next edition of the EYOF, and was pleased with his performance,

“It started off good with 52, but then felt a bit of pressure because I fouled and then had a bad throw. I thought I’d be lucky to get into the top eight, felt the pressure in the last throw so I threw it further. Delighted with the PB in the final throw. I couldn’t ask for anymore, maybe a medal, but that’s next year!”

Interview with Cian Crampton

Listen to the full interview by clicking HERE

The Boy’s Medley Relay qualified for final by finishing second in their heat with the third fastest qualifying time of 1:58.52, putting them in a great position to contest the medals tomorrow. Cormac Crotty along with Jason O’Reilly were racing their first race today, speaking after the race Crotty said,

“It started off with Jesse, who had a very good start; then the baton changed to Toby, who ran a very strong leg too, I did well too and Jason finished it off.”

O’Reilly added, “It feels great – the whole week watching the athletes qualify, and you’re thinking to yourself I’d love to qualify as well, so it’s like a dream come through now going to the finals.”

Interview with the Boy's Medley Relay post competition

The Girl’s Medley Relay finished in ninth place, just missing qualifying for the finals by one spot with a time of 2:16.44. Racing her first race of the Games, Amy-Jo Kierans said

“We are happy with that, the changeovers were really good. Okwu had such a good start, Hannah as well, our changeover to Hollie was amazing and she made up some really good ground.”

Interview with the Girl's Medley Relay post competition

Later today Toby Thompson is the only athlete in action, competing in the finals of the Boy’s 200m. Tomorrow will see the Boy’s Medley Relay Final, as well as Clodagh Gill in the 3000m and Lucy Foster in the 1500m.

RESULTS – TUESDAY 26 JULY 2022

Athletics

Boy’s 3000m Final – Cormac Dixon – 4th overall with 8:28.62

Boy’s Discus Final – Cian Crampton – 5th overall with 54.76 PB

Boy’s Medley Relay

Jesse Osas, Toby Thompson, Cormac Crotty, Jason O’Reilly – Q for Final with 1:58.52

Girl’s Medley Relay

Okwu Backari, Hannah Falvey, Amy-Jo Kierans, Hollie Kilroe – 9th overall with 2:16.44

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY 29 PM JULY 2022

19:35 Athletics – Boy’s 200m Final – Toby Thompson

SCHEDULE – SATHURDAY 30 JULY 2022

10:10 Athletics – Girl’s 3000m Final – Clodagh Gill

10:23 Athletics – Girl’s 1500m Final – Lucy Foster

10:57 Athletics – Boy’s Medley Relay – Osas, Thompson, Crotty, O’Reilly

Another busy day for Team Ireland athletes at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica, saw fifteen athletes compete across four sports, with 800m runner Nicole Dinan coming close to a medal, finishing in fourth, while Sam Coleman finished tenth in the sprint finish of the Boy’s Road Race, ensuring the cycling team go home with four top ten results.  

Athletics

It was a full day of competition for the athletics athletes at the Sport Park Athletics today in Banska Bystrica. Nicole Dinan had a stand-out performance in the Girl’s 800m Final, where she pushed for a medal, finishing fourth on the line. Serbia’s Masa Rajic won the race in a time of 2:11.95 ahead of Italy and Poland, with Dinan fourth with 2:12.92. Pleased with her performance, Dinan said,

“I was slightly more nervous for the final than I was for the semi-final. I went out didn’t expect to take the lead at all, but it happened that way, I went at my own pace. Up the back straight they were pushing it on, I was hanging in there and I was dying in the home straight. I delighted to get fourth, pity I missed out on a medal.”

Acknowledging the pedigree of Irish female runners over this distance, in particular Louise Shanahan who previously won the 800m event at EYOF, Dinan said,

“We were only watching Louise Shanahan’s 800m the other day in the room, and she won this EYOF, and the way she won it was an inspiration and I thought, maybe that will be me some day! It’s great to see all her performances, it pushes you on in training, and it shows you that there’s someone there to show you that yes, it is possible.”

This morning saw Toby Thompson qualify through to the finals in the Boy’s 200m with a time of 22.26, and is excited to see what he can do in tomorrow’s final,

“I didn’t get the best of starts, that meant I had to keep the pace up at full speed for the second 50 of the event. Then I had nothing in the tank for the home straight. But if I run a better race in the final, I would like to think I’m in contention for a medal.”

A personal best time of 14.11 seconds was not enough for Okwu Backari to progress to the semi-finals of the Girl’s 100m hurdles,

“There was a false start and I think that kind of put everyone off a bit. A false start and I still ran a PB, especially in front of all these people, so that’s really good.”

Hannah Falvey, who had qualified for the semi-finals of the Girl’s 200m, fell short of moving to the finals, finishing with a time of 26.11, and now switches her focus to the relay events tomorrow.

“It’s been great here, I got to the semi-finals. I thought I would run a bit better, but it just wasn’t my day I guess. I’m still very happy, and it’s the relays next, so I’ll switch my focus to that.”

Maeve Fleming missed out on qualifying for the finals in the High Jump, scoring 1.65m, shy of her own personal best of 1.73m. Speaking afterwards she commented on the support from the crowd,

“It was great seeing the Team Ireland flags and all the supporters in green, it was great. My family and coach were there too which was great.”

Hollie Kilroe finished 8th in the Girl’s 400m Final with a time of 57.54,

“There was a lot of excitement going into it, it wasn’t the race I was expecting. But I got to a final, and not a lot of people can say that.”

Badminton

Michelle Shochan and Dylan Noble teamed up together in the Mixed Doubles today, taking a 2-0 win in their first match against Armenia’s Manvel Harutyunyan and Lusine Smbatyan. The Irish pairing dominated both sets in the first match with a 21-18, 21-19 win, moving them into the next round.

In the Round of 32 they faced Norway’s Aleksandrs Jakovlevs & Katja Ellingsen, and had a better match, but the Norwegian’s got the better of them at the end of two tough sets, winning 2-0, with 24-22, 21-18

Speaking after the competition, team leader and three time Olympian Chloe Magee was impressed with their performances,

“It’s been a very different experience here for me. I’m used to coming here to these European Games as an athlete, and I am now here as a coach, and trying to guide these young guys in the right direction. It’s been a really good week, Michelle played very well in the singles, and she’s very young, she has another year in this. Dylan, it was a very hard experience for him, and he learnt a lot from the singles and he came out today and played a good mix. It’s always tough when your partner is doing well and you’ve to spend a few days practising. But fair play to him, he came out with a really good attitude and I was happy that they could progress in the mixed.”

Magee reflected on her own transition from athlete to team leader at the EYOF, expressing gratitude for the support that she receives from Badminton Ireland, and CEO David McGill.

“I can’t thank Badminton Ireland enough, they’ve given me every opportunity to try and progress as easy as possible, from an athlete to the next stage. Even being here at this European Youth Olympic Festival, it’s good for me to come back, give back and help them and guide them. To give them a bit of my experience on how to be international athletes and to try and just show their class. I’m learning a lot and they’re learning a lot so it’s good experience for both.”

Cycling

Another top ten finish for Sam Coleman in the Boy’s Road Race rounded off an excellent week of racing for the Irish cyclists, coming away from the EYOF with four top ten finishes.

In the 57.8km Girl’s Road Race Aine Doherty was the highest Irish finisher in 25th place, with Aliyah Rafferty and Mya Doocey 41st and 69th respectively. With one significant climb on the circuit, and the finish line in the centre of the town, it was recipe for good racing. The race was neutralised up the climb for the first few kilometres, and on the next time around the Dutch drove hard leaving a gap to the rest of the peloton, with the Irish just missing out on this select group.   

Team Ireland coach Jamie Blanchfield was impressed with the performances of all the riders, saying,

“They all raced fantastically. With Aine she was one stone away from being in the first group coming into the finish – the leaders took the foot off the gas, so her group managed to reel back the gap coming to the line. All three of them are first year juniors in this event, so to have this kind of performance at a race like this is really promising, and you can’t buy that kind of experience. Mya was unfortunate to get caught up in a crash when she was in the main group, but she did well to finish too.”

In the 65.8 km Boy’s Road Race Sam Coleman finished tenth in the sprint for gold, in a race that was won by Belgium, with Poland rounding off the podium with silver and bronze. The Orchard CC cyclist was in the lead group for much of the race with his clubmate Seth Dunwoody, who raced strong throughout, but couldn’t get away. Dunwoody was caught up in a crash 800m from the finish, so placed 27th. Patrick Casey, who rides for Anexo Group Race Team was in the next group back in 33rd place. Blanchfield highlighted the mature and composed racing of the team saying,

“The guys followed the plan. On the first gap everyone was eager to push on the race, but they stayed back and saved themselves. Patrick was unlucky to get caught in a crash that he got back on to get back into the bunch. Seth was second or third wheel going up the climb and in a strong group which fractured away, but it came together on the descent. Sam did really well to finish in the sprint for gold, finishing tenth. This caps off a really great week for the boys, with each of them coming away with a top ten. Four top tens for the team.”

Swimming

It was a busy morning for Waterford’s Conor Fitzgerald who competed in the Boy’s 50m Free and Boy’s 100m Butterfly in the space of an hour, narrowly missing out on progressing out of both heats. In the Boy’s 50m Free Fitzgerald finished 30th in a time of 24.69. The Splashwood Sharks SC swimmer then clocked 58.23 seconds in the Boy’s 100m Butterfly.

Tomorrow’s schedule for Team Ireland will feature only track and field athletes, with the remaining sports finished for the event.

RESULTS – TUESDAY 26 JULY 2022

Athletics

Toby Thompson – Boy’s 200m Heats – 22.26 Q for Finals

Okwu Backari – Girl’s 100m Hurdles – 14.11 PB

Hannah Falvey – Girl’s 200m Semis – 26.11

Maeve Fleming – Girl’s High Jump – 1.65m – doesn’t qualify

Nicole Dinan – Girl’s 800m Finals – 4th with 2:12.92

Hollie Kilroe – Girl’s 400m Finals – 8th with 57.54

Badminton                                                                       

Ireland (Shochan & Noble) 2-0 Armenia (Harutyunyan & Smbatyan) 21-18, 21-19.

Ireland (Shochan & Noble) 2-0 Norway (Aleksandrs Jakovlevs & Katja Ellingsen) 22-24, 18-21

Cycling

Girl’s Road Race:

Gold – Cat Ferguson (GB)

Silver – Paula Jessica Ostiz Taco (Spain)

Bronze – Beatrice Temperoni (Italy)

25th – Aine Doherty (Ireland)

41st – Aliyah Rafferty (Ireland)

69th – Mya Doocey (Ireland)

Boy’s Road Race:

Gold – Cedric Keppens (Belgium)

Silver – Patryk Goszczurny (Poland)

Bronze – Michal Strzelecki (Poland

10th – Sam Coleman (IRL)

27th – Seth Dunwoody (IRL)

33rd – Patrick Casey (IRL)

Swimming

Conor Fitzgerald – Boy’s 50m Freestyle – 30th with 24.69

Conor Fitzgerald – Boy’s 100m Butterfly – 21st with 58.23

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY 28 JULY 2022

10:05 Athletics – Girl’s Medley Relay (Backari, Falvey, Kierans, Kilroe, Dinan)

10:35 Athletics – Boy’s Medley Relay (Crotty, O’Reilly, Osas, Thompson)

10:42 Athletics – Boy’s Discus (Cian Crampton)

11:00 Athletics – Boy’s 3000m Final – Cormac Dixon

19:35 Athletics – Boy’s 200m Final – Toby Thompson

Team Ireland Athletes Continue to Shine in Slovakia

Following on from Sean Cronin’s sensational bronze medal run yesterday, a quieter day of action for Team Ireland saw Irish competition in athletics, badminton, gymnastics, judo and tennis at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica which runs from the 25 – 30 July. 

Athletics

Hannah Falvey and Lucy Foster both progressed to the next rounds with automatic qualifying times this morning. In the Girl’s 200m Falvey raced in the third heat, finishing fourth in her heat with a time of 25.71. Foster was third in her qualifying heat of the Girl’s 1500m with a time of 4:36.17.

Badminton

After a strong battle in the last sixteen, Dubliner Michelle Shochan was knocked out of the Girl’s Singles by Sweden’s Sofia Stromvall. She took the first set 21-18, before her Swedish opponent pulled back the second 21-19. On the third set the more experienced player took the win with 21-13.

Gymnastics

In the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team Ireland had three female gymnasts in competition, Lily Russell, Sophie McGuinness and Maeve McGuinness. Lily Russell finishing 40th overall with 45.1. In the beam she was 23rd overall with a score of 11.8. Twins Sophie McGuinness and Maeve McGuinness were 50th (43.85) and 72nd (40.50) respectively.

With the arena packed with spectators, the Maeve McGuinness said the athletes were lifted by the atmosphere,

“It was very exciting, especially being with athletes from different countries and different events.”

The thirteen year olds met when they were eight at a development camp, and have progressed through the Gymnastics pathway, competing as three of the youngest athletes at the EYOF.  Sophie McGuinness spoke about the bond between the three athletes, “If someone is upset understand what they are going through, and if they are upset, lift them up.”

Referring to their longstanding friendship, Russell added “we had no idea then what would happen in the future, but we are excited to be here now, and excited for the Europeans in Munich in a few weeks!”

Judo

In the Girl’s -57kg event Derry Judoka Bethany McCauley got a bye in the first round, and was beaten by the experience French athlete, Emma Melis in Round 2, who took the early victory with an Ippon seoi nage.

Coach, and 2000 Olympian, Chloe Vickers Cowen described the competition as a positive and important learning experience for McCauley,

“She had a bye in her first round, and came in on the second round and she had a number four seed. Bethany had good tactics, good warm up, understand how to fight that style of opponent and did well in the first exchange. Then kind of slipped up in the second exchange where she got caught on her side; that’s a wasari score and seven points. She held onto the leg, this avoids the hold down after. The referee gave it a lot of time, and then the French competitor managed to get a leg out and hold her down for ten seconds, and then she lost the fight.”

Listen to the full interview HERE

There will be another busy day tomorrow with Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming all on the schedule.

Tennis

The Mixed Doubles of Eoghan Jennings and Rachel Deegan were beaten by the number one seed from Romania, Gabriel Ghetu and Eva Ionescu, ending their competition and the first time that they have competed together as a team.

RESULTS – TUESDAY 26 JULY 2022

Athletics

Hannah Falvey – Girl’s 200m Heats – Q for SF – 25.71

Lucy Foster – Girl’s 1500m Heats – Q for F – 4:36.17

Badminton                                                                       

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 1-2 Sofia Stromvall (SWE) Girl’s Singles – Round of 16 (21-18, 19-21, 13-21)

Gymnastics

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Lily Russell – 40th with 45.1 (Vault:12.00, Bars: 10.0, Beam: 11.8, Floor: 11.3)

Sophie McGuinness – 50th with 43.85 (Vault:12.00, Bars: 9.8, Beam: 11.4, Floor: 10.65)

Maeve McGuinness – 72nd with 40.5 (Vault:11.90, Bars: 7.8, Beam: 9.750, Floor: 11.05)

Team – 13th

Judo

Bethany McCauley (IRL) V Emma Melis (FRA) – Girl’s Minus 57kg – Loss (0-1)

Tennis

Ireland (Eoghan Jennings & Rachel Deegan) 0-2 Romania – Mixed Doubles Loss (0-6, 3-6)

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY 28 JULY 2022

09:32 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – Boy’s 50m Free

10:30 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – Boy’s 100m Butterfly

10:32 Athletics – Okwu Backari – Girl’s 100m Hurdles (Heat 2, Lane 2)

11:00 Cycling – Girl’s Road Race (57.8km)

11:07 Athletics – Toby Thompson – Boy’s 200m Heats (Heat 2, Lane 5)

11:42 Athletics – Hannah Falvey – Girl’s 200m Semis (Semi 2, Lane 8)

12:00 Badminton – Mixed Doubles – Ireland (Shochan & Noble) V Armenia (Smbatyan &Harutyunyan)

16:30 Cycling – Boy’s Road Race (65.8km)

16:35 Athletics – Maeve Fleming – High Jump Heats

18:05 Athletics – Nicole Dinan – 800m Finals

18:20 Athletics – Hollie Kilroe – 400m

18:39 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald 100m Butterfly Semis

19:10 Athletics – Hannah Flavey 200m Final

19:26 Swimming Conor Fitzgerald 50m Free

Full day of action for Team Ireland in Slovakia

Sean Cronin stormed home in third place on the second day of racing for Team Ireland at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica. In what was a full day of action for Irish athletes, top performances across the board saw athletes perform and progress through the rounds. The EYOF is a multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs from the 25 – 30 July. 

Athletics

Sean Cronin won a bronze medal in the Boy’s 1500m with a time of 4:02.81, just behind Italy and Hungary. Delighted with his performance the sixteen year old from Rush, Dublin, said,

“It was a bit of a hectic race, more like rugby than athletics – we were rotating around swapping for places for the whole thing, and the last lap it was chaos down the back straight but I managed to get in a fairly good position on the last bend. I gave it everything but couldn’t get up to the Italian and Hungarian chap at the end but happy enough.

“I’m absolutely delighted, a great way to end the season. Couldn’t ask for much better. That was my expectation back in March when I was looking to get the qualification time. I said to the lads at training, I definitely can get a medal, and now to get the medal is just a great way to end the season, and I’m going into the cross country season. It’s just exciting, it’s exactly where I want to be.”

Ratoath’s Jesse Osas finished 6th in the boy’s 100m heat with a new PB of 10.86. Speaking after the race he said,

“Personally, I could have run better, but it’s a new PB, I came sixth in the continent, I have nothing to complain about. I did have big expectations, sixth place, I’ll still take it.”

Senan O’Reilly, from Conna, Cork, raced a great race in the Boy’s 800m to finish with a time of 1:58.23 in the heats, qualifying him for the semi-finals next Friday. 

Cork’s Okwu Backari finished eleventh in the final in the long jump with 5.39.

Badminton

In the Boy’s Singles Dylan Noble got a walkover in his scheduled match against Andrei Schmidt (Estonia), while Michelle Shochan had a busy afternoon of competition with three rounds of her Group Play, two of which she won, resulting in her moving to the last 16, where she will play Sweden.

In a tight fought battle against number one seed in her group, Jelena Buchberger  from Croatia, competition went to the third match, which was taken by Buchberger 18-21, 21-18, 21-12.

Later in the afternoon the Dubliner took on Austria’s Anja Rumpold, and controlled the match from the start, dominating the first game 21-13. The second game saw the Austrian fight back, with Shochan taking the victory 21-18. In the final match against Germany’s Marie Stern the fourteen year old Shochan took another win with 23-21, 21-18.

“Today I had the last three matches of my group stage, and I was able to get out as the second person. I lost my first match but then played Austria and I was able to stay calm and focused and just stuck to my plan. The last match of today was against a 6 foot German and I was able to do my best and was able to form. I had hoped to get out of my group, but I was so happy to have done it because I am one of the youngest here.”

Cycling

Seth Dunwoody was the fastest Irish finisher in the Boy’s Time Trial netting 5th place with a time of 11:06.81. The Orchard CC cyclist came within six seconds of a medal and was sitting in third place until the last few riders. Patrick Casey also made the top ten, finishing in 10th with 11:12.55, and Sam Coleman was 43rd with 11:39.20, having been unlucky with the conditions during his race.

Speaking after the race, Dunwoody said,

“I’m over the moon with that, it’s such a big competition with a lot of strong riders. The course started with a 90 degree corner off the startline with pave and cobbles. There was gradual incline before a 180 turn, and back into town which was a very fast run into the final. I think we take away from today that we are a country that can be reckoned with in the road race, and if we play our cards right, we have three solid riders that we can do the job with.”

Aine Doherty was the best of the Irish in the Girl’s Time Trial, finishing tenth with a time of 12:40.7 over the 8.4km race that went through the town centre.

Speaking after the race, Doherty said,

“It feels amazing, I can’t believe it. Top ten was my goal so it feels amazing and to get it feels unreal. It’s really special, my parents are here as well, so hearing them on the sideline and to be able to get a good result, it feels really good. It was not an overly long circuit, you could pace it off the start, it was a bit of a drag up to the hairpin, so you just give it everything and pedal it back down. It was really nice in the square, all the tight corners and the atmosphere was class!”

Mya Doocey was 31st with 13:09.11 and Aliyah Rafferty finished 60th with 13:36.36.

Swimming

Both Conor Fitzgerald and Grace Davison qualified out of their morning heats for the semi-finals of the Boy’s 100m Free and Girl’s 200m Breaststroke respectively. Davison finished 7th in her semi-final, knocking 3 seconds off her morning time, with 2:39.15, while Fitzgerald finished 19th overall with a semi-final time of 53.00 seconds.

Speaking after his first major race internationally, Fitzgerald said,

“The atmosphere was amazing, I had a lot of nerves, but that’s to be expected! You get used to it.”

Gymnastics

In the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Niall Hooten narrowly missed out on qualifying by 0.3, finishing fourteenth place. The Douglas gymnast posted a new personal best in the vault, and speaking after his event he said,

“It’s my first major international competition and I didn’t know what to expect coming into  it. I put in a lot of new moves, my difficulty was up there with everyone else. Although some of my routines weren’t so great, I did some routines I’m proud of as well. The vault especially, I’m very proud of that, it’s a new vault and I landed it very well. My vault is normally a full twisting somersault, but I added another full twist so it was a double twist – I landed it well and I was happy with that.”

There will be another busy day tomorrow with Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming all on the schedule.

RESULTS – TUESDAY 26 JULY 2022

Athletics

Sean Cronin – Boy’s 1500m Final BRONZE with 4:02.81

Jesse Osas –Boy’s 100m Final – 6th with a PB

Senan O’Reilly – Boy’s 800m Heats – qualified for final with 1:58.13

Okwu Backari – Girl’s Long Jump Final – 11th with 5.39

Badminton                                                                       

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 1-2 Jelena Buchberger (CRO) Girl’s Singles R2 (18-21, 21-18, 21-12)

Dylan Noble (IRL) WALKOVER Andrei Schmidt (EST) Boy’s Singles R2

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-0 Anja Rumpold (AUT) Girl’s Singles R3 (21-13, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-0 Marie Stern (GER) Girl’s Singles R4 (23-21, 21-18)

Cycling

Boy’s Time Trial (8.4km)

Seth Dunwoody – 5th – 11:06.81

Patrick Casey – 10th – 11:12.55

Sam Coleman – 43rd – 11:39.20

Girl’s Time Trial (8.4km)

Aine Doherty – 10th – 12:40.7

Mya Doocey – 31st – 13:09.11

Ailyah Rafferty – 60th – 13:36.36

Gymnastics

Niall Hooten – Men’s Artistic Gymnastics – 14th in Vault 13.525, 68th overall with 68.650

Swimming

Conor Fitzgerald (IRL) – Boy’s 100m Freestyle Heats – Q for SF 52.86

Conor Fitzgerald (IRL) – Boys 100m Freestyle SF – 19th 53.00

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 200m Breaststroke Heats – Q for SF with 2:42.23

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 200m Breaststroke SF – 7th with 2:39.15

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY 26 JULY 2022

10:30 Badminton – Girl’s Singles - Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Sofia Stromvall (SWE) R of 16

10:41 Athletics – Hannah Falvey – 200m Heats

11:30 Judo – Bethany McCauley V France– Minus 57kg

11:31 Athletics – Lucy Foster – 1500m Heats

15:00 Tennis – Mixed Doubles – Ireland V Romania

15:00 Gymnastics – Lily Russell

15:00 Gymnastics – Sophie McGuinness

15:00 Gymnastics – Maeve McGuinness

PBS AND TOP CLASS PERFORMANCES ON THE OPENING DAY OF THE EYOF

Today saw a strong display of performances from Team Ireland athletes across the board at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Banska Bystrica. Personal Bests and qualification for finals were clocked throughout this first day of competition, in the multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs from the 25 – 30 July. 

Athletics

Four of the Team Ireland athletics team were competing today, with four finals up for grabs. Rising to the occasion, the Irish athletes ensured the schedule would remain busy, qualifying for each final.

Ratoath’s Jesse Osas blitzed his boy’s 100m heat, finishing second with a personal best time of 10. 91. This booked the sixteen year old a place in tomorrow’s final. After his race, Osas said,

“I felt really well out of the blocks, going through I was happy. Coming from Ireland to Slovakia took a while to settle in to, but I felt good going into the race. Today, this whole event, coming here, running for my country, it feels great.”

Another personal best run was recorded by Cork’s Nicole Dinan in the girl’s 800m with a time of 2:12.27,  

“Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, I said I’d go out there and do what I needed to do. It was an easy enough start, a bit messy throughout the race, but that’s to be expected. Coming up the final straight I was like I’m here, I’m going to go for it, I pumped the arms to see what would happen.”

Cork’s Okwu Backari also moved to the final in the long jump with 5.41. While not clocking her best jump, Backari was relived to move to the finals tomorrow,

“My first jump was by far my best jump, I was a little behind the board, but it was still a good jump and I got it in. It’s my first huge competition, and not many people get to get here.”

Hollie Kilroe from Galway made it a clean sweep of qualifications for the athletics team, moving to the final with a time of 56.86. Pleased with her result, Kilroe said “I started off very fast, maybe a bit too fast, but I was delighted to hold it. I scraped the finals but very happy I did.”

Badminton

Dubliners Dylan Noble and Michelle Shochan were both competing in the Group Play rounds of the Singles. The top two from each group move to the next rounds. The team is managed three-time Olympian Chloe Magee.

Fourteen year old Shochan had a stellar performance in her match against Great Britain’s Varsha Kumar. Describing a tight battle she said,

“It was a very close match. I was hoping to win because I had played her before, but me and my coach Chloe had watched her match and made a plan to play my game and make some adjustments depending on what I needed to do. It’s great because Chloe has been in my shoes and played so many matches before, so she knows what to do and what to tell me.”

Noble had a busier day, competing twice today, against Sweden’s Romeo Makboul this morning and Portugal’s Santiago Batalha later on. While he was beaten in both matches, as the competition grew, so too did his confidence,

“I was very nervous when I started and the first 11 went so fast, I don’t really remember what happened. I got more confident as it went on, and was more attacking on the back. But I didn’t take enough control of the net.”

Speaking about his performance and the perspective she can bring to the team with her experience Magee said,

“I used to love these big multi-sport events, Dylan has never played a big event like this and it has been a big build up. I’ve been explaining to him that nerves are normal, and now it’s about taking what we learned today and get the best match out there.”

Swimming

Bangor’s Grace Davison had a busy day, qualifying out of her rounds in the 100m Freestyle with a time of 58.82, a time she matched later in the day in the semi-finals. She also competed in the 400m Individual Medley, just missing out on the finals. Disappointed with her results, Davison described her semi-final in the 100m Freestyle,  

“It wasn’t the best swim, but the first 50 was a lot quicker than this morning, but a bit slow on the way back. It’s a good experience here meeting new people as well, I just can’t wait to get over to the Commonwealth Games now.”

Tennis

Both Rachel Deegan (Dublin) and Eoghan Jennings (Westport) had a full day, competing in the knock out rounds of the Singles, as well as the Mixed Doubles. Fourteen year old Jennings was cool and composed in his match against Portugal’s Joao Dinis Silva, before being defeated in the third set, with 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Deegan was unlucky to meet number 1 seed and home favourite, Renata Jamrichova from Slovakia, with a 6-1, 6-1 loss.

However, together the pair gelled excellently in the Mixed Doubles, with a dominant performance over Kosova. Speaking after the match, Deegan said,

“It feels really good to get through a match, and have one under our belt, so it will be great experience. Really excited to go again.”

Jennings added,  “It was comfortable enough, we got off to a good start and kept it going and came out on top. Playing together you try to collaborate as much as you can but we don’t think about it too much, we just go out and play our own games and see the end result.”

There will be another busy day tomorrow with Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming all on the schedule.

RESULTS – MONDAY 25 JULY 2022

Athletics

Jesse Osas – Boy’s 100m Heats 10.91 (PB) Q for Final

Okwu Backari – Girl’s Long Jump Heats 5.41 Q for Final

Nicola Dinan – Girl’s 800m Heats 2:12.27 (PB) Q for Final

Hollie Kilroe – Girl’s 400m Heats 56.81 Q for Final

Badminton

Romeo Makboul (SWE) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Men’s Singles R1 (21-7, 21-10)

Santiago Batalha (POR) 2-0 Dylan Noble (IRL) – Boy’s Singles R2 (21-17, 21-18)

Michelle Shochan (IRL) 2-1 Varsha Kumar (GB) – Girl’s Singles R1 (22-20, 22-24, 21-15)

Swimming

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 100m Freestyle Heats – 16th with 58.82, Q for Semis

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girl’s 100m Freestyle SF – 15th with 58.82, did not qualify for finals

Grace Davison (IRL) – Girls 400m Medley Heats – 11th with 5.08.23, did not qualify for finals.

Tennis

Joao Dinis Silva (POR) 2-1 Eoghan Jennings (IRL) – Boy’s Round One (6-2, 4-6, 6-3)

Renata Jamrichova (SVK) 2-0 Rachel Deegan (IRL) – Girl’s Round One (6-1, 6-1)

Ireland (Jennings & Deegan) 2-0 Kosovo (Hajrizi & Rama) – Mixed Doubles Round 1 (61, 6-2)

SCHEDULE – TUESDAY 26 JULY 2022

09:36 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – 100m Freestyle Heats (Lane 3)

10:34 Swimming - Grace Davison – 200m Breaststroke Heats

10:40 Athletics – Senan O’Reilly – 800m Heats

10:40 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Jelena Buchberger (CRO) Girl’s Singles R2

11:00 Cycling – Ailyah Rafferty Girl’s Time Trial (#1) 78 starters, 8.4km course

11:32 Cycling – Aine Doherty Girl’s Time Trial (#33) 78 starters, 8.4km course

11:58 Cycling – Mya Doocey Girl’s Time Trial (#59) 78 starters, 8.4km course

12:25 Badminton – Dylan Noble (IRL) V Andrei Schmidt (EST) Boy’s Singles R2

14:30 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Anja Rumpold (AUT) Girl’s Singles R3

16:00 Cycling – Sam Coleman Boy’s Time Trial (#1) 93 starters, 8.4km course

16:36 Cycling – Patrick Casey Boy’s Time Trial (#37) 93 starters, 8.4km course

16:45 Gymnastics – Niall Hooten Men’s Artistic Gymnastics – runs to 19:00

17:09 Cycling – Seth Dunwoody Boy’s Time Trial (#70) 93 starters, 8.4km course

17:45 Badminton – Michelle Shochan (IRL) V Marie Stern (GER) Girl’s Singles R4

17:55 Athletics – Okwu Backari – Long Jump Finals

18:14 Swimming – Conor Fitzgerald – 100m Freestyle SF

18:10 Athletics – Sean Cronin – 1500m Final

18:54 Swimming – Grace Davison – 200m Breaststroke Final

20:20 Athletics – Jesse Osas – 100m Finals

BETHANY MCCAULEY AND SAM COLEMAN LEAD OUT TEAM IRELAND AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE EYOF TONIGHT

Competition in the largest multi-sport event for youths in Europe begins

Flagbearers Bethany McCauley (Judo) and Sam Coleman (Cycling) lead out Team Ireland in the Opening Ceremony of the European Youth Olympic Festival in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia last night. Over the coming week thirty-three Irish athletes compete across seven events, in what is the largest multi-sport event in Europe. To date Ireland has enjoyed success at the EYOF, winning a total of 69 medals in the 21 year history of the event.

Competition kicks off today with athletes from athletics, badminton, swimming and tennis making their EYOF debut. First up is swimming’s Grace Davison, who will travel from this event to the Commonwealth Games. Davison competes in the 100m Freestyle, and 400m Medley heats in the morning, with the finals later in the day, should she qualify.  

Athletics, which is Ireland’s most successful EYOF sport, will see Okwu Backari compete in the long jump, athletics team captain Jesse Osas competes in the heats of the 100m, Nicole Dinan in the 800m and Hollie Kilroe competes in the 400m. Badminton’s Michelle Schochan and Dylan Noble are making history as Ireland’s first players at the EYOF, this is the first year that the sport has been put on the programme. The team are led by three time Olympian Chloe Magee.

Tennis players Eoghan Jennings and Rachel Deegan are also in action, competing in the opening rounds of the singles and doubles. Jennings is first up, taking on Joao Dinis Silva from Portugal, while Deegan competes against home favourite, Renata Jamrichova, from Slovakia. The two will pair up later in the day to compete in the mixed doubles, taking on Armenia.

SCHEDULE – MONDAY 25 JULY 2022

09:30 Swimming - Grace Davison – 100m Freestyle Heats

10:00 Tennis – Eoghan Jennings (IRL) Vs Joao Dinis Silva (POR)– Boy’s Singles

10:40 Badminton – Dylan Noble (IRL) Vs Romeo Makboul (SWE)

 – Boy’s Singles Group Play R1

11:15 Swimming – Grace Davison – 400m Individual Medley Heats

12:00 Tennis – Rachel Deegan (IRL) Vs Renata Jamrichova (SVK) – Girl’s Singles

15:00 Tennis – Rachel Deegan & Eoghan Jennings – Mixed Doubles (IRL V Armenia)

15:25 Badminton – Dylan Noble Vs Santiago Batalha (POR)

– Boy’s Singles

16:15 Badminton – Michelle Schochan (IRL) Vs Varsha Kumar (GB) – Girl’s Singles

17:00 Athletics – Jesse Osas – 100m

17:20 Athletics – Okwu Backari – Long Jump

18:00 Athletics – Nicole Dinan – 800m Heat

18:05 Swimming – Grace Davison – 400m Freestyle

18:15 Swimming – Grace Davison – 100m Freestyle Finals

18:30 Athletics – Hollie Kilroe – 400m R1

TEAM IRELAND PARIS SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT

LARA Gillespie is definitely a ‘glass half-full’ person.

As one of the 15 individual recipients of OFI Paris Olympic Scholarships she recently got the chance to do a photo-shoot, posing in her Irish skin suit, in front of the Eiffel Tower in the city where she hopes to fulfil her track cycling dreams in 2024.

“That was very cool and and an opportunity that came out of me being sick because I wasn’t racing at the time, so you have to be grateful for that,” she says of emerging from two difficult years.

Dealing with injury and illness is tough for any athlete but must have been even harder for one as precociously talented and successful as the 21-year-old from Enniskerry.

She’s the first to admit that, when she finally decided to concentrate on cycling after success in multiple sports before she left school, cycling came naturally to her.
A European Youth Olympic Festival silver (Time Trial) in 2017 was followed a year later by a European junior title (Points) and silver medal (Pursuit) on the track.

In 2019 she won Pursuit bronze at the World Juniors and three silvers at European Juniors.

Yet her Irish senior Road and Scratch (track) titles in 2020 and a European U23 medal last season came against the odds, while she was struggling with serious health issues.

“I had this rare gynae (gynaecological) condition that I was born with. It only started causing issues when I was 15 and came back really badly in late 2020. It was only diagnosed in January 2021 and rushed for an operation.

“I never healed properly from that. I ended up fighting through it and going abroad and then tearing my hamstring. I got some good results in 2021 - silver at Euro U23s, gold (team pursuit) and bronze (omnium) in a senior World Cup which was a big step up - but, after the U23s, the pain was so severe that I just had to stop.

“I did a lot of rehab, tried to get back training but just I was so fatigued and then was diagnosed with glandular fever last December.”

She couldn’t train again until May. Throw in all the COVID lockdowns and chaos and it is clear she has come through a hellish two years when her tightknit family support has never been so important.

“I never like relying on people, but I had to ask for help and try and find other things that made me feel happy and grounded,” she reveals.

Living in rural Wicklow with her grandparents, her mum Suzanne (an international in orienteering) and her younger sister Bobbi, where she’s been running, cycling, climbing mountains and sea swimming since her childhood, proved central to recovery.

“Spending time at home, being around my family, my grandparents, my boyfriend and in nature, that’s what got me through. I was able to turn it around and appreciate that time because I kinda feel I’ll never have it again.”

Probably not given the peripatetic life of Irish track cyclists.

She returned in time for the recent European U23s and is currently in Mallorca, preparing for the European Seniors (Munich, August 11-21).

Having just graduated with a degree in Health and Performance Science from UCD in May, she has been accepted for a Masters but may yet defer it.

“I’m not sure if I’ll do it or hold off because I really want to go full force for Paris, especially after two years of a lot of setbacks. I’m just really hoping for a clear run now.

“The Olympic scholarship really helps. Like being able to get flights without stress and being able to pay my coach and (for) equipment I’ve never had before, like those aero handlebars that everyone else has.”

Gillespie is, literally, back on track now, though faced with the challenge of transitioning from U23 to international senior.

“I got three fifth places at the European U23s but I was fighting for medals and, off such little training, that’s made me excited. I know there’s so much more in me and really want to use all the potential I have.

“I’m also lucky that I’ve had a good experience of racing in elites already. I went straight from racing juniors to senior World Cups and didn’t even realise how big a step that was at the time. I’ll just keep working hard.”

The dream?

“Obviously to be Olympic and World and European champion and to keep having fun! What’s fun is the process, the whole journey. I’m looking forward to having fun on the journey.”

Lara gillespie, cycling
LARA GILLESPIE - CYCLING

Thirty three athletes have been selected across seven sports to compete at the European Youth Olympic Fedstival which takes place in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia from the 25-30 July 2022.

Details on all the athletes can be found below:

NameDOBLocationSportEventClubCoach
Amy-Jo Kierans'03/10/2006MonaghanAthleticsMedley Relay (F)Oriel ACFr Peadar Corrigan & Bernard McAree
Cian Crampton'17/01/2007OffalyAthleticsDiscus (M)Edenderry Athletics ClubPeter Collins
Clodagh Gill'30/04/2007BallinaAthletics3000m (F)Moyvalley AcPhilip Finnerty
Cormac Dixon'18/01/2006DublinAthletics3000m (M)Tallaght ACCecil Johnston
Cormac Crotty'08/09/2006CavanAthleticsMedley Relay (M)AnnaleeRob Murphy
Hannah Falvey'06/09/2006Blarney, CorkAthletics200m, Medley Relay (F)Belgooly ACColette Kelly
Hollie Kilroe'20/02/2006GalwayAthletics400m, Medley Relay (F)Suck ValleyDonal Flynn
Jason O'Reilly'06/09/2006KillarneyAthleticsMedley Relay (M)Killarney Valley ACCon Lynch
Jesse Osas'24/06/2006MeathAthletics100m (M)RatoathPeter Doherty
Lucy Foster'09/05/2006LisburnAthletics1500m (F)Willowfield HarriersDavy Foster
Maeve Fleming'04/05/2006CorkAthleticsHigh Jump (F)Leevale ACDenis Murphy
Nicole Dinan'03/01/2006Monkstown, CorkAthletics800m (F)LeevaleChris Harrington
Okwu Backari'25/03/2006Blackrock, CorkAthleticsLong jump, 100m hurdles, Medley Relay (F)Leevale AC 
Sean Cronin'12/7/2006Rush, DublinAthletics1500m (M)Cloncliife HarriersMick Fogarty
Senan O'Reilly'25/12/2006Conna, CorkAthletics800m, Medley Relay (M)St Catherines ACKen Nasom
Toby Thompson'04/01/2006BelfastAthletics200m, Medley Relay (M)Ballymena & AntrimJenny McGuckian
Dylan Noble'15/06/2006DublinBadmintonSingles & Mixed Doubles (M)Badminton AcademyDan Magee
Michelle Shochan'17/12/2007Glasnevin, DublinBadmintonSingles & Mixed Doubles (F)BI AcademyShochan Andrews
Áine Doherty'31/03/2006BelfastCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (F)Vc GlendaleBarry Monaghan
Aliyah Rafferty'08/10/2007DungannonCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (F)Island Wheelers CC 
Mya Doocey'30/07/1973NavanCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (F)Navan Road ClubPat Doocey
Patrick Casey'21/03/2006ManchesterCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (M)Anexo Group Race TeamJoe Cadwallader
Sam Coleman'15/01/2006CraigavonCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (M)Orchard CCHarrison Hunter
Seth Dunwoody'26/05/2006CraigavonCyclingTime Trial, Road Race (M)Orchard CCStephan Gallagher
Lily Russell'24/08/2008DublinGymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics (F)Dp GymnasticsColm Murray
Maeve McGuinness'08/08/2008DublinGymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics (F)Muckross Park GCSamantha Epstein
Niall Hooton'01/04/2004Cork/SuffolkGymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics (M)Douglas GCBen Howells
Sophie McGuinness'08/08/2008DublinGymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics (F)Muckross Park GCSamantha Epstein
Bethany McCauley'03/05/2005DerryJudoJudo (F)Konarakai judo clubPaul Green
Conor Fitzgerald'11/01/2006WaterfordSwimming100m Freestyle 50m Freestyle
100m Butterfly  (M)
Splashworld Sharks SCKevin Willmott
Grace Davison'26/08/2007BangorSwimming400IM, 
100Freestyle,
200 Breaststroke (F)
Ards SCCurtis Coulter
Eoghan Jennings'20/03/2008WestportTennisSingles & Mixed Doubles (M)Castlebar Tennis ClubGarrett Barry
Rachel Deegan'13/02/2007DublinTennisSingles & Mixed Doubles (F)David Lloyd RiverviewMareze Joubert

Support staff:

SUPPORT TEAM

HQ Team Chef de Mission – Gavin Noble Sport Director – Martin Burke Chief Medical Officer – Dr. George Fuller Head of Performance Support – Julianne Ryan Physiotherapist – Michelle Biggins Physiotherapist – Robert Smyth Operations Manager – Linda O’Reilly Media Attaché – Heather Boyle  Athletics Jacqui Freyne – Team Leader Brian Scanlon – Coach Paul Byrne – Coach  
Badminton Chloe Magee – Team LeaderCycling Liz Roche – Team Leader Jamie Blanchfield – Coach Adrian Delaney – Mechanic
Gymnastics Sandra Stevenson – Team Leader Colm Murray – Coach Andrew Smith – CoachJudo Chloe Vickers Cowen – Team Leader  
Swimming Kathryn Wylie – Team Leader  Tennis Lynsey McCullough – Team Leader  

FROM 1991 - 2022

In the 21 years of Team Ireland competing at the European Youth Olympic Festival - Ireland has had significant success. There have been 69 medals won by Irish athletes in that time, and the most successful Games for Team Ireland was in Tibilisi in 2015, with a total of ten medals being spread across athletics and swimming.

The EYOF is the largest multi-sport event for youths in Europe, and serves as an important step on the pathway of athletes, providing crucial learnings, as it emulates the senior Games.

Over the years athletics has been the most successful sport for our young athletes, securing 46 of the medals, followed closely by swimming with 17 medals. The men's football has won 3 of the medals and women's hockey team 2 medals. In 2017 Lara Gillespie became the first athlete to medal in cycling.

YearHost CityAthleteSportEventMedal
1991BrusselsFiona KellyAthletics100mS
1991BrusselsArlene SmithAthletics800mS
1991BrusselsClaire IgnertonAthleticsLong JumpS
1991BrusselsHockey TeamHockeyWomen's HockeyB
1991BrusselsFootball TeamFootballMen's FootballB
1993ValkenswaardJames NolanAthletics800mS
1993ValkenswaardHugh O'ConnorSwimming100m BackstrokeG
1993ValkenswaardHugh O'ConnorSwimming200m BackstrokeB
1995BathGrainne RedmondAthletics100m HurdlesB
1995BathGareth TurnbellAthletics1500mS
1995BathMaria LynchAthletics1500mS
1995BathLeonore KelleherSwimming100m ButterflyS
1995BathHockey TeamHockeyWomen's HockeyS
1997LisbonColm McCleanAthletics1500mG
1997LisbonCiara SheehyAthletics200mG
1997LisbonLeonore KelleherSwimming100m ButterflyS
1997LisbonLeonore KelleherSwimming200m ButterflyB
2001MurciaFootball TeamFootballMen's FootballG
2003ParisColin CostelloAthletics1500mS
2003ParisColin CostelloAthletics2000m SteeplechaseB
2005Lignano SabbiadAmy FosterAthletics100mS
2005Lignano SabbiadCiaran O'LionairdAthletics1500mB
2005Lignano SabbiadEoin HealyAthletics2000m SteeplechaseB
2005Lignano SabbiadDavid McCarthyAthletics800mS
2005Lignano SabbiadIrelandSoccer11-a-side (Men's)B
2007BelgradeCharlotte Ffrench O'CarrollAthletics3000mS
2007BelgradeNiamh WhelanAthletics100mB
2007BelgradeNoel CollinsAthletics2000m SteeplechaseS
2007BelgradeKourosh ForoughiAthleticsHigh JumpB
2007BelgradeGrainne MurphySwimming400m FreestyleB
2009TampereCiara MageeanAthletics1500mG
2009TampereShane QuinnAthletics3000mS
2009TampereChristine McMahonAthletics400m HurdlesS
2009TampereCaoimhe KingAthletics4x100mB
2009TampereJoanna MillsAthletics4x100mB
2009TampereJoan HealyAthletics4x100mB
2009TampereChristine McMahonAthletics4x100mB
2009TampereSycerika McMahonSwimming400m FreestyleS
2009TampereSycerika McMahonSwimming200m Individual MedleyB
2009TampereSycerika McMahonSwimming400m Individual MedleyB
2011TrabzonBen KielyAthletics400mhG
2011TrabzonMegan KielyAthletics400mhB
2011TrabzonRuairí FinneganAthletics1500mG
2011TrabzonSiofra Cléirigh ButtnerAthletics1500mS
2011TrabzonSarah LavinAthletics110mhB
2011TrabzonKarl GriffinAthletics800mB
2011TrabzonBrian O'SullivanSwimming50m FreestyleB
2013UtrechtWilliam CroweAthletics1500mS
2013UtrechtRoseanna McGuckianAthletics200mB
2013UtrechtSiobhra O'FlahertyAthletics3000mS
2013UtrechtLouise ShanahanAthletics800mG
2013UtrechtPhoebe MurphyAthletics4x100mG
2013UtrechtRoseanna McGuckianAthletics4x100mG
2013UtrechtLaura Ann CostelloAthletics4x100mG
2013UtrechtNiamh McNicolAthletics4x100mG
2015TbilisiCiara NevilleAthletics100mG
2015TbilisiKevin McGrathAthletics1500mG
2015TbilisiGina Akpe-MosesAthletics200mS
2015TbilisiRyan Carthy WalshAthleticsHigh JumpS
2015TbilisiSommer LeckyAthleticsHigh JumpB
2015TbilisiConor FergusonSwimming100m BackstrokeS
2015TbilisiEllen WalsheSwimming100m ButterflyS
2015TbilisiConor FergusonSwimming200m BackstrokeS
2015TbilisiAntoinette NeamtSwimming400m FreestyleS
2015TbilisiAntoinette NeamtSwimming800m FreestyleB
2017GyorPatience Jumbo-GulaAthletics100mB
2017GyorSarah HealyAthletics1500mG
2017GyorRhasidat AdelekeAthletics200mS
2017GyorJade WilliamsAthleticsHammer ThrowB
2017GyorNiamh FoleyAthletics4x100mB
2017GyorRhasidat AdelekeAthletics4x100mB
2017GyorMiriam DalyAthletics4x100mB
2017GyorPatience Jumbo-GulaAthletics4x100mB
2017GyorLara GillespieCyclingTime TrialS
2019BakuRhasidat AdelekeAthletics100mG
2019BakuRhasidat AdelekeAthletics200mG
2019BakuMolly MayneSwimming100m BreaststrokeB
2019BakuMolly MayneSwimming200m BreaststrokeB

The Permanent TSB Flagbearers will be Bethany McCauley (Judo) and Sam Coleman (Cycling)

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has today named thirty-three athletes who will compete across seven sports in the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) later this month. The multi-sport event that is aimed at athletes aged 14-17 years, will take place in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia and will run from the 25-31 July 2022.

The EYOF is a prestigious event that plays an important role in the development of an athlete, replicating the Olympic Games model. It is run biennially, with the summer event ordinarily run on the alternate year to the winter EYOF. This year’s event was originally scheduled for July 2021 and was moved in line with the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

Announcing the team, Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for the EYOF, Gavin Noble said,

The EYOF is the only major multisport event for the best young athletes in Europe and it marks an important step for Team Ireland athletes on our Olympic pathway. This is an exciting young group and I know that they will all learn a lot. The event is also very important to our Paris 2024 preparations as we experience, learn and debrief together as a staff team. I am very happy too with our coaching group and I know that this event will also serve them well as they continue to help develop our young talents in unison with club coaches all around Ireland.

12Sam Coleman, cycling, and Bethany McCauley, Judo, have been named as the flagbearers for Team Ireland in the Opening Ceremony of the European Youth Olympic Festival in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.

Additionally, Bethany McCauley (Judo) and Sam Coleman (Cycling) have been named as the flagbearers for the Irish team later this month. The Permanent TSB Flagbearer Announcement took place at the official Team Day at the Sport Ireland Institute yesterday at an event which saw athletes, coaches, and parents gather. Acknowledging the role of parents, community, and clubs in preparing athletes for events like the EYOF, where they have the opportunity to shine and inspire communities around Ireland, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications with Permanent TSB, Leontia Fannin, said,

The sporting excellence demonstrated by these young athletes is an example of how drive, determination and resilience can achieve great heights. But of course, athletic success depends on the support of so many, and we would like to say particular thanks to the families, coaches, clubs, and communities that have come together to ensure that each athlete can achieve their best and raise the spirits of a nation.

It is an incredible achievement to have been chosen to represent Team Ireland and we look forward to supporting these inspiring athletes as they compete in Slovakia at the end of July.”

The Irish team departs for Banska Bystrica on the 22 July, with competition starting on the 25 July 2022.

Team Ireland Athletes:

Athletics

Athletics team at the Team Ireland announcement for the European Youth Olympic Festival which takes place in Banska Bystrica,

Amy-Jo Kierans (Monaghan) Medley Relay (F)

Cian Crampton (Offaly) Discus (M)

Clodagh Gill (Mayo) 3000m (F)

Cormac Dixon (Dublin) 3000m (M)

Cormac Crotty (Cavan) Medley Relay (M)

Hannah Falvey (Cork) 200m, Medley Relay (F)

Hollie Kilroe (Galway) 400m, Medley Relay (F)

Jason O’Reilly (Killarney) Medley Relay (M)

Jesse Osas (Meath) 100m (M)

Lucy Foster (Lisburn) 1500m (F)

Maeve Fleming (Cork) High Jump (F)

Nicole Dinan (Cork) 800m (F)

Okwu Backari (Cork) Long Jump, 100m Hurdles, Medley Relay (F)

Sean Cronin (Rush) 1500m (M)

Senan O’Reilly (Cork) 800m, Medley Relay (M)

Toby Thompson (Belfast) 200m, Medley Relay (M)

Jacqui Freyne – Team Leader

Brian Scanlon – Coach

Paul Byrne – Coach

Badminton

Badminton players Michelle Shochan and Dylan Noble with coach Chloe Magee at the Team Ireland announcement for the European Youth Olympic Festival which takes place in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

Dylan Noble (Dublin) Singles, Mixed Doubles

Michelle Shochan (Dublin) Singles, Mixed Doubles

Chloe Magee – Team Leader

Cycling

Áine Doherty (Belfast) Time Trial and Road Race

Aliyah Rafferty (Dungannon) Time Trial and Road Race

Mya Doocey (Navan) Time Trial and Road Race

Patrick Casey (Manchester) Time Trial and Road Race

Sam Coleman (Craigavon) Time Trial and Road Race

Seth Dunwoody (Craigavon) Time Trial and Road Race

Liz Roche – Team Leader

Jamie Blanchfield – Coach

Adrian Delaney – Mechanic

Gymnastics

Lily Russell (Dublin) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Maeve McGuinness (Dublin) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Sophie McGuinness (Dublin) Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Niall Hooton (Cork/Suffolk) Men’s Artistic Gymnastics

Sandra Stevenson – Team Leader

Colm Murray – Coach

Andrew Smith – Coach

Judo

Judoka Bethany McCauley at the Team Ireland announcement for the European Youth Olympic Festival which takes place in Banska Bystrica

Bethany McCauley (Derry) Minus 57kg (F)

Chloe Vickers Cowen – Team Leader

Swimming

Conor Fitzgerald (Waterford) 100m Freestyle, 50m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly (M)

Grace Davison (Bangor) 400IM, 200 Breaststroke, 100 Freestyle (F)

Kathryn Wylie – Team Leader

Tennis

Tennis team, from left, Rachel Deegan and Eoghan Jennings at the Team Ireland announcement for the European Youth Olympic

Eoghan Jennings (Westport) Singles, Mixed Doubles

Rachel Deegan (Dublin) Singles, Mixed Doubles

Lynsey McCullough – Team Leader

HQ Support Team

Gavin Noble – Chef de Mission

Martin Burke – Sport Director

Julianne Ryan – Head of Performance Support

Michelle Biggins – Physiotherapist

Robert Smyth – Physiotherapist

Dr. George Fuller – Chief Medical Officer

Linda O’Reilly – Operations Manager

Heather Boyle – Media Attaché

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