Wicklow town swimmer Aisling Beacom has picked up Bronze in the 1600m open water swim at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
- Team Ireland scoop 14 more medals on day four of competition at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
- Highlights include:
- First ever World Games medals secured by Team Ireland in Open Water Swimming & six medals for Team Ireland as Kayaking athletes wrap up a spectacular day in the water
- Gold for Team Ireland in Tenpin bowling doubles event
- Equestrian athletes continue winning streak, scooping 2 gold and 2 silver medals
- Team Ireland runners secure silver and bronze in 400m run and 5000m
The Team Ireland medal haul is continuing to climb, after another incredible day at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
Team Ireland athletes secured a total of 14 medals (four gold, five silver and five bronze), on day four of competition in athletics, equestrian, kayaking, swimming and tenpin bowling events, bringing the tally of medals to 57 (20 gold, 22 silver & 15 bronze), and counting.
In athletics, there was medal success on the track, with Team Ireland runners making a big impression; Brendan Maguire from Castlemartyr secured silver in the 400m run, and Alan Power (50) from Knocklyon, Dublin 16 claimed bronze in the 5000m.
Speaking after his win, Brendan said: “I am so happy that I have won a medal here at the Games. I was so nervous before my run but I settled into it, and decided I’d run the best I could, and thankfully it paid off. I am delighted, I just can’t believe it.”
It was another great day in the water, with Team Ireland securing two podium finishes in open water swimming for the Irish team’s first ever world Games outing in the sport.
Seasoned World Games athletes, Aisling Beacom (38) from Wicklow and Conor McClorey (22) from Newry, Co. Down who was competing in his first ever international Games, each scooped bronze in the 1600m open water swim in their respective divisions, to a rousing reception from fans and supporters.
Team Ireland kayaking athletes, secured six medals (one gold, two silver and three bronze) and two fourth place finishes in the 200m and 500m kayak events. In the 200m, gold was claimed by 17-year-old, Oisin Feery from Tullamore, Co. Offaly; the talented teenager also went on to claim bronze in the 500m event. Deirdre O’Callaghan (37) from Glasnevin, Dublin 11 secured silver in the 200m and bronze in the 500m, while Michelle O’Keane (36) from Galway scooped silver in the 500m and fourth place in the 200m kayaking event. There was also success for 19-year-old Fergal Gregory from Newry, Co. Down, as he secured bronze in the 500M kayak and fourth place in the 200m.
In tenpin bowling, Aine McDermott from Athenry, Co. Galway (24) and Gemma Steele (25) from Coleraine, Co. Derry won gold in the doubles event.
There was further success for Team Ireland’s equestrian athletes with an incredible two gold and two silver medals secured in the English Equitation events on the fourth day of competition. 18-year-old Megan McElherron from Newry, Co. Down added a gold medal to her growing haul, having scooped a silver medal in the Working Trials event on Saturday. The second Equestrian gold went to Lee Mitchell (21) from Omagh, Co. Tyrone, in a stunning international debut. Silver medals were awarded to Team Ireland equestrian teammates, Conor Byrne (37) from Naas, Co. Kildare and Sally Duffy (42) from Tallaght, Dublin 24, each making their second podium finishes of the Games, having won gold and bronze, respectively over the weekend.
Competition also continued today in other athletics events, bocce, badminton, gymnastics, swimming and table tennis, with further finals taking place in the coming todays. Team Ireland footballers will battle it out in their last match against Estonia tomorrow at 9am local time; the five-a-side team are in contention for a bronze medal if they win. Badminton player Sarah Louise Rea from Lisburn Co. Down is also in contention for gold, with a tough match against Thailand ahead tomorrow.
There’s great support for Team Ireland out in Abu Dhabi. Siobhan and Martin Nixon’s daughter Shannon, aged 22 from Coalisland, Co. Tyrone is competing in athletics. Speaking from the athletics stadium today, Siobhan Nixon said: “Shannon is part of a squad at Special Olympics Ireland that she belongs to and she is having the time of her life here in Dubai with them. It’s not medals she’ll look back on and remember but the memories.
“The confidence that she now has is unbelievable. When Shannon was born 22 years ago, we didn’t know what the possibilities for her were, and to think she is now here competing at the World Games is amazing.”
The Special Olympics World Summer Games run until 21 March 2019. Team Ireland are competing in 12 Olympic-style sports, representing 24 counties across Ireland.
To keep up to date with Team Ireland’s preparations for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, follow Special Olympics Ireland on Twitter, @SOIreland and Facebook, facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsIreland and follow the hashtags, #TeamIreland and #PlayYourPart.