Irish Olympic Dreaming

Team Ireland’s 40 athletes returned home yesterday to Dublin Airport following a multi-medal haul at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2017 in Gyor, Hungary. There were six medals won by Ireland at the multi-sport event which saw athletes (aged 13-17) compete against the best youth athletes in Europe

There were six medals won by Ireland at the multi-sport event which saw athletes (aged 13-17) compete against the best youth athletes in Europe.

With nineteen previous competitors from these games going on to represent Ireland at the Olympics, there must be high hopes that some of these will fly the flag in Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles over the next three Games.

The Athletics Team won five of the six medals with Sarah Healy from Monkstown, Dublin producing the highlight performance of the championships to take Gold in the 1500m Final, running a personal best of 4.19.85.

She would need to shave around 13 seconds off that time to make the A qualifying standard for Tokyo but at age 16 that could well be in her range.  The manner of her victory streamed live on Saturday was as impressive as any Irish athletics performance ever witnessed on a European or World stage.

The sprinters were on fire on the track with Patience Jumbo-Gula placing third in the 100m in a time of 11.59 and Tallaght’s Rhasidat Adekele winning the silver in the 200m in 23.81 . Both athletes lined up in the women’s 4x100m with Niamh Foley and Miriam Daly to take the bronze. In the field, Cavan’s Jade Williams threw 58.62m to secure a bronze for Ireland in the Hammer.

In the field, Cavan’s Jade Williams threw 58.62m to secure a bronze for Ireland in the Hammer.

Cycling secured its first ever medal at the EYOF’s when Wicklow’s Lara Gillespie came home second in the Girl’s Cycling Time Trial in a time of 15minutes 20 seconds, just behind the Swiss winner in 15 minutes 17 seconds.

“This was a very successful championship, with six medals won, numerous athletes making finals and personal bests achieved as well as a new Junior record set in the pool,” said Chef de Mission Martin Burke.

“The EYOF provided these talented young athletes with their first experience of a multi-sport event which will be of great benefit as the move towards realising their own Olympic dreams.”

Electric Ireland have supported Team Ireland in each of the last two Olympic Games in London and Rio. At present the only two local sponsorships with the Olympic Council of Ireland are with Newbridge Silverware and New Balance.

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