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Olympics: McClenaghan off to strong start while rowers set the tempo

admin | July 24, 2021

Irish athletes were in action early this morning, getting our Olympic proceedings off to an exciting start in Tokyo.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy put in a blistering shift to finish their heat five seconds clear of the Czech Republic, with a time of 6.23.74 in the opening heats of the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull.

Qualifying for the A Final in the Women’s Four, Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe and Aifric Keogh narrowly missed out on first to Team Australia. Ireland’s 6.28.99 will be nonetheless heartening considering it was just 0.23 seconds off the Aussie’s new Olympic Best.

It was all smiles also for Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne who finished third in their repechage, claiming a spot in the A/B semi-final on Sunday. Also in action tomorrow is Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley, and Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen who finished fourth and fifth in their heats respectively.

‘Good day at the office’ Rhys McClenaghan impressed on his first Olympic outing, taking the top spot on the Pommel Horse in subdivision 1.

The 22-year-old finished with an impressive score of 15.266, however, he will have to wait for the results of the rest of today’s events with the top eight from each individual sector qualifying for the final.

Speaking after his first event, McClenaghan said: “It was a good day at the office. I am an Olympian now and that is a dream come true.”

“We are as prepared as we can be. I am relying on the preparation that we have done so far to replicate my routine today and do it better,” he added.

Boxing Featherweight Kurt Walker saw off Spain’s Jose Quiles Brotons in their round of 32 fight, winning by a unanimous decision.

Up next for the 26-year-old is World Champion and number on seed, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan.

Ireland’s Jack Wooley (red) in action against Lucas Lautaro Guzman (blue) of Argentina. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

Taekwondo Dublin’s Jack Woolley suffered a loss to Argentina’s Lucas Guzman in his opening fight.

Ireland’s first Taekwondon athlete lost in the final seconds, ending 22-19, and must now wait for the remainder of Guzman’s results before he will know if he gets the opportunity to fight in the repechage later today.

“I’m very disappointed, everything was good in the lead up, in our prep, I felt physically great going in,” Woolley said after the fight.

“I walked in today and something just didn’t click, it just wasn’t my day. I have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best this evening.

“Sport is unpredictable. I hope everyone else he fights has a similar performance to me, but we have to see – he has to get to the final first,” he added.

Later Cycling: Men’s Road Race – Nicolas Roche, Dan Martin, Eddie Dunbar – Underway

Swimming: Women’s 100m Butterfly (Heat 2) – Ellen Walshe – 11.28am

Men’s 100m Breaststroke (Heat 4) – Darragh Greene – 12.32pm

Hockey: Women’s Hockey (Pool Match) – Ireland v South Africa – 1.15pm

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